Labor leader Bill Shorten has been challenged to support construction of Rookwood Weir.
“This is Mr Shorten’s last chance to support Rookwood Weir,” Minister for Northern Australia Matt Canavan said today.
“He is in Gladstone today, one of the two cities that will benefit from the weir, and it’s the perfect place to finally declare his support for this vital Central Queensland project.
“He has said he can’t promise any money for Rookwood without seeing a business case but has committed $800 million for the cross-river rail project in Brisbane without a final business case for that project.
"Why is Brisbane getting special treatment from Labor while the needs of Central Queensland are ignored? Labor is once again taking its voters in Central Queensland for granted.
“It’s a hypocritical stance but reflects the fact Labor is afraid of offending the Greens and won’t support any infrastructure that involves dams, mines or high-value agriculture. It can’t develop rural and regional Australia because it’s petrified of losing inner-city votes to the Greens.”
Senator Canavan said the Coalition Government was “100 per cent in support” of Rookwood Weir.
“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has committed $2 million to finalise the business case for the weir and pledged $130 million for its construction as soon as that business case is finalised,” he said.
“By contrast, Mr Shorten and Labor refuse to even say anything positive about the project, let alone commit funds.
“What Labor has said is that it will halve our $500 million water infrastructure grants fund to transfer money to its city-centric priorities.”