The hard-working Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, has criticized the State Government for not releasing a business case on the proposed construction of Rookwood Weir before calling the election.
“Rookwood Weir is a vital piece of infrastructure with major flow-on benefits for Central Queensland jobs and families,” Ms Landry said.
“The State Labor Government has delayed and delayed completing a business case for Rookwood Weir yet has rushed through approvals for the five-thousand-million-dollar inner city rail project in the heart of Brisbane to benefit the re-election chances of Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
“The people of Central Queensland should have been able to see the business case for Rookwood Weir – if the State Government really thinks it’s so important – before the election was called.
“What has the Queensland Government got to hide? Is this another ‘secret report’ like their report into a coal-fired power station that showed the LNP policy to build such a power station is economically sound?
“Do they have figures that show Rookwood Weir has got a sound economic case for its construction too? I certainly believe it does.”
Ms Landry said the figures she had seen for Rookwood Weir indicated it was a vital piece of infrastructure, providing 1,000 jobs during construction and then doubling agricultural; production in the region to over $2 billion and creating 2,100 ongoing fulltime jobs.
“Rookwood Weir has support from the Federal Government as well as backing from the State LNP team. This vital piece of water infrastructure has the potential to create over 1000 jobs in our local area and this is only during the construction phase.” Ms Landry said.
“I was pleased to commit $130 million to fund 50% of the construction of Rookwood Weir at the 2016 Federal Election, and since then Queensland Labor have done everything in their power to delay this vital project.
“Why is the Rookwood business case being delayed? Is it so we get to another federal election without any progress? Labor is putting politics first over our local people.”
Ms Landry said not only farmers and others in primary industry but also shop owners and other businesses in Central Queensland, particularly Rockhampton, would benefit from the increased employment flowing from Rookwood Weir.
“Local businesses who are currently feeling the pinch will benefit from the flow on effects of this dam. It is a simple fact, when people have jobs, they spend money. This is what keeps our local businesses going, and keeps people in jobs.”
“It is not only local retailers and cafes who will benefit from these flow on effects but all industry from hospitality to transport industry. More output from producers means more work for all associated industries.”
Simone Lawrie, owner of Rockhampton’s award-winning Artisan Gluten-Free Bakery, said she wanted to see Rookwood Weir built.
“I can see benefits from Rookwood here in the city and also on properties in the surrounding region.
“I currently employ 11 staff here in Artisan Gluten Free Bakery but would love to put on more staff and provide more jobs, and I’m sure that would be the case once Rookwood Weir is under construction.
“I am also involved in a family property and can see how Rookwood will benefit graziers.
“Rookwood would be a game-changer for everyone: from graziers who want to produce fatter cattle to farmers who want to plant high-yield crops and to businesses in Rockhampton that will supply the farmers and sell their products and others in the professional services sector,” Ms Lawrie said.
“It would benefit the Central Queensland economy across the board.”