05 Oct KAP pushes governments to give a dam!
KAP Leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter has welcomed the news that Charters Towers Regional Council will commence work on the Big Rocks Weir, which will be jointly funded by the State and Federal governments.
It’s understood the Council will be named the sole owner and operator of the weir on completion however the local government body will work closely with the state, through water service provider Sunwater, to fast track pre-construction activities only.
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has committed $3 million to the project to conduct environmental and other regulatory approvals, geotechnical assessments, detailed weir design, and water product and pricing definition.
A further $27 million has also been pledged for the construction of the 10,000 megalitre weir about 26km north-west of Charters Towers on the Burdekin River.
Construction of the weir is expected to support more than 170 jobs, while 115 full-time jobs will be created by the weir once its finished.
Mr Katter said he, and other local water project advocates, had been applying pressure right down to the 11th hour to ensure the Big Rocks Project, as well as the Hughenden Irrigation Project (also in his electorate), progressed without issue before the Palaszczuk State Government goes into caretaker mode tomorrow.
He said this morning’s announcement regarding Big Rocks, and the State’s releasing last Friday of federal funds to progress the Hughenden project’s detailed business plan, meant the future of the two region-defining infrastructure projects has been dramatically strengthened.
“Ensuring both the Federal and State priorities are aligned with each other as well as with the people on the ground has been a delicate balancing act but essential in ensuring everyone is on board and on the same page so we can work hard together to achieve our shared goals,” Mr Katter said.
“I have learned over the years that getting the big tick with the initial announcement and funding promise overcomes a big hurdle, but that’s just the start of the negotiating process – there’s always a lot more work to be done.”
Mr Katter said he was now also was seeking a commitment and assurances from the LNP that it would do all within its power to deliver Big Rocks Weir, and the Hughenden scheme, if it wins government on October 31.
KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter, who was instrumental in delivering $54 million in federal funding for Big Rocks (including a $24 million business case for Hells Gates Dam) and $180 million for the Hughenden scheme, said procrastination was an art form to governments.
“We at the KAP don’t talk, we act,” he said.
“Procrastination has been raised to an art form by government in Australia – both State and Federal – and of course both ALP and LNP are incapable of making decisions.
“If you have to spend half your road monies on reports as to whether the roads should be fixed up or they shouldn’t there’s something terribly wrong.
“Similarly with water development, not a single dam built in 30 years; actually sorry there has but now they are tearing it down.”