Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce speaks during a news conference in Brisbane, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Mr Joyce challenged opposition leader Bill Shorten in regards to Senator Sam Dastyari accepting money and gifts from a China-based business in 2015. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING
Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce speaks during a news conference in Brisbane, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Mr Joyce challenged opposition leader Bill Shorten in regards to Senator Sam Dastyari accepting money and gifts from a China-based business in 2015. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING DAN PELED

Barnaby Joyce and Bill Byrne clash over dam delay

WATER infrastructure was a hot topic in Rockhampton yesterday as the Federal Government claimed the State Government was using delay tactics for the Rookwood Weir and now preferred the Eden Bann site.

Acting Prime Minster Barnaby Joyce made the allegations while attacking the State Government on a number of issues, including providing funding to the Environmental Defenders Organisation which is holding up the Adani Carmichael coal mine project via court action.

Mr Joyce was joined by Capricornia MP Michelle Landry in the attacks.

The pair accused the State Government of coming up with up with new annotations and of providing funding to an organisation that is holding up a multi-billion dollar mine project in court.

"What they are doing is saying they are not really happy with Rookwood, we should look at Eden Bann," Mr Joyce said.

"We've been down this path. The business cases have been done. We've been over and over it ad nauseam.

"This is going to provide over 2,300 jobs in perpetuity if we get this Rookwood Weir built. It is also an extra billion dollars in income for the people of Central Queensland.

"It's vitally important that we get moving with this."

 

Kerri-Anne Mesner

The Federal Government committed $130 million towards the project, along with $2 million for a final business case.

However, Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne said Mr Joyce was muddying the waters here.

"When Mr Joyce announced construction funding for Rookwood Weir, it was conditional on the Environmental Impact Statement and business case stacking up. Mr Joyce was aware at the time that these processes were underway, but not finalised," Mr Byrne said.

The EIS is in its final stages with the Coordinator-General and the business case, led by Building Queensland with input from Sunwater and Gladstone Area Water Board, was progressing as planned.

"The business case will be developed in accordance with Building Queensland frameworks and is expected to be completed by late 2017," Mr Byrne said.


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