Federal Member for Capricornia is appalled by the Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor’s call to investigate the Fitzroy Gap Dam, when Rookwood Weir can deliver jobs within months.
“I have seen some pretty erratic behaviour from the Mayor, but this one takes the cake and will take us back 40 years,” Ms Landry said.
“It seems that she has made a pretty dirty deal with Dominic Doblo, running him as a mayoral candidate to split the vote, in exchange for withdrawing her support for Rookwood in favour of the Fitzroy Gap Dam.
“There is simply no other explanation for why she would rescind her support, make promises to another Mayoral candidate immediately after the election, or go against the decisions of her fellow Councillors,” she said.
Ms Landry said that not only has the Mayor been on record on numerous occasions backing Rookwood, but claimed credit for initiating it in the first place.
“Rookwood Weir has the support of the Federal Government, Gladstone Regional Council, Livingstone Shire Council, Rockhampton Regional Council, CQ ROC, Growing Central Queensland and Capricorn Enterprise,” Ms Landry said.
“Each of these organisations has listed the project as a top priority for job creation, and is even listed as a priority project in the Rockhampton Regional Council Economic Development Action Plan.
“The only thing standing in the way of 400 construction jobs and 2100 ongoing jobs is the Labor State Government and the Mayor of Rockhampton, who has refused to consider purchasing an allocation for Rockhampton,” she said.
Ms Landry said that going back to the drawing board would create unnecessary delay in job creation, with the proposed mega-dam neither realistic nor affordable.
Investigations by SunWater assessed a number of projects, including the Fitzroy Gap Dam, finding that:
Construction of a ‘mega-dam’ does not allow for incremental development in response to increasing demand.
Environmental impacts on the aquatic ecosystems, terrestrial flora and fauna and loss of land associated with inundation will be considerably more severe than [Rookwood Weir] due to impoundment outside of the river bed and banks.
The nearness of the existing Eden Bann Weir to the proposed dam site adds further complications. It is likely that the existing impoundment would need to be drained to accommodate construction and this would have the potential to severely disrupt supply to Stanwell Power Station.
“Rookwood Weir, which could be constructed in one dry season, is essential to the future development of the greater area and will create economic investment in agriculture near Rockhampton, industrial exports via the Port of Gladstone and a number of value-add industries,” Ms Landry said.
“There have been countless feasibilities studies done on Rookwood, we committed $2million for the business case over a year ago and the vital EIS was approved earlier this year; it is closer than any other water project we have to getting built.
“The Fitzroy Gap Dam has an unknown price tag, but could be anywhere up to $9 billion, and would take up to 10 years of scientific and environmental research before it could be even be considered by any government.
“The region needs the jobs now and there is no more reason for delay other than for back room deals and political gain.”