After years of hard work, Central Queensland’s Federal LNP team say it’s time to “bring in the bulldozers” after the Commonwealth announced today it would increase its funding pledge to $176 million to kick start construction of Rookwood Weir, west of Rockhampton.
Federal Members for Capricornia and Flynn, Michelle Landry and Ken O’Dowd, and Rockhampton-based Senator Matt Canavan lobbied hard to help secure an extra $46 million in federal support for the project – on top of the $130 million previously announced by the Coalition Government in 2016.
The trio joined Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud in Rockhampton this morning to announce the Commonwealth’s $176 million contribution towards the $352 million project - in a 50:50 arrangement with Queensland.
Hard-working Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said she was thrilled to see the hard work finally pay off.
“This has been a consuming effort since I was elected and I am just over the moon to see this financial hurdle cleared.
“I see the massive potential this project has for the region, particularly the opportunity to deliver over 200 jobs through construction and over 2,100 jobs long term through growing our agriculture output.
“Growing our economy like this means more money in the shops and businesses in towns like Rockhampton, Emu Park, and Yeppoon, which means more jobs for more people, right across the region.
“Central Queenslanders have toughed it out and it is time for the region to grow and develop; it is projects like Rookwood that promise to unlock the potential of this great region.” said Ms Landry.
Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd said a range of industries across the region were set to benefit from the project.
“Beef and grain producers right along the Lower Fitzroy are sure to benefit from this project.
“Water is life and that is particularly evident in farming. If we can secure more water for our farmers, they will repay us with greater yields and a stronger economy.
“It doesn’t stop with farmers though; with the heavy industries of Gladstone also set to benefit from more – and more reliable – water supply,” said Mr O’Dowd.
“We have seen the devastating impact of water shortages in Cape Town, we must not allow ourselves to fall into a mess like that; we must build Rookwood Weir.”
Rockhampton-based Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the federal government was always committed to the project and it was now time to bring out the bulldozers and ‘get cracking’.
“Our Federal Liberal-National government was the first to seriously commit $130 million to the Rookwood Weir project, plus $2 million to cover the costs of the Queensland Business case back in 2016,” Senator Canavan said.
“We‘re now offering a further $46 million to bring our contribution to $176 million – making this project a 50:50 funding arrangement between the Commonwealth and Queensland state government.
“Rookwood Weir is an economic game changer. It’s now time to get on with building it. The people of Central Queensland have been waiting for over 15 years to get Rookwood started.
“I have always said that we will cooperate with Queensland to bring this scheme to fruition. Securing a reliable water supply is vital if Central Queensland is to have a strong future of growth, jobs and prosperity.”
After so much to-ing and fro-ing, it is hoped this funding announcement represents the clearing of the final hurdle for the project.
The message from the group to the State Government is clear:
“Get on with it, build Rookwood Weir!”