Canavan's message for Queensland: "Stop bickering, start building"

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has a simple message for the Queensland Government: “Stop bickering, start building.”

Minister Canavan said the Coalition wanted to work with the State but was waiting for the Labor Government’s support for projects like Rookwood Weir and the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor.

“Together, these two projects alone are worth $280 million and will create thousands of jobs.

“Rookwood Weir would create an extra $1 billion a year in agricultural production and 2,100 new jobs, and the rail project to upgrade the Port of Townsville would cement its position as a minerals export hub.

“We’ve put up our share of funds and both projects could get going straight away but the Queensland Government is yet to reveal its position on them.

“Our money is there. Let’s just get on with the job and start building. I am calling on the Queensland Government to step up, put their money on the table and let’s get going. I have found it a little frustrating how long this is taking for projects that are clearly in the best interests of northern development.”

The Minister’s comments follow a statement today from the Premier that she wants to convene a meeting with Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan and Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner to coincide with the next Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting to promote northern development.

“If the NT wanted to develop the north and create jobs, they would lift their ban on drilling for gas. The Territory has enormous reserves of onshore gas – locked up by the NT Government – that could create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of income.”

Minister Canavan said initiatives underway from the Turnbull-Joyce Coalition Government for Northern Australia included:

  • the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility – established on 1 July 2016 – which had received more than 100 inquiries for loans, of which 47 were in active consideration and five reported by NAIF to be near financial close;
  • the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Programme and the $100 million Beef Roads Programme;
  • the $75 million Townsville-based Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia, for which a board of directors had been appointed and first-round applications for funding had been opened; and
  • the Coalition Government’s $500 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility to incentivise State and Territory Governments to fast-track priority projects that will support growth in our agricultural industries and regional communities.

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  • commented 2017-12-20 14:59:26 +1000
    Dear Mr Cananvan,
    I am deeply concerned about your support for opening up mining in the Galilee basin, and I think some of your statements show either a lack of research, or that you are wilfully misleading the public. I am shocked that you keep referring to the “10 000” Jobs that Adani will provide with its new mine. That is just not true, as you know Adani’s own witness admitted in court that the new mine will provide 1464 jobs including indirect jobs. I believe Adani is a scammer. They pay no tax, and have already got millions and millions of dollars out of the Rockhampton and Townsville Councils to help pay for their FIFO airport. Up here in North Queensland FIFO situations are known as the Scourge of The Bush. Mining the Galilee puts our precious groundwater from the Great Artesian Basin at grave risk. Farmers are terrified of the Adani mine and for good reason. Yes we need more jobs up here but we need healthy, sustainable jobs, not just more more boom and bust mining that leaves behind social, economic and environmental degradation. If you think mining the Galilee is a good idea, I urge you to do some very deep research, as it will be a disaster for our land, air and water. ( not to mention the amount of coal burned out of it will create more emissions than the whole of Australia currently does – You have seen the pollution in Delhi that makes cricket players vomit, its a small world ) It would be best if the world moved towards renewable energy , as all the scientists,economists, doctors and farmers are warning us, we are in a serious climate crisis. Any local that has researched the probable negative impacts knows the Adani mine is simply a terrible idea. The only ones who want it are those who have not researched properly and simply believing what Adani and politicians are saying on tv without checking the facts.Please do some serious research, and do your job which is to advocate for the best interests of Northern Australia.
    - S. Hungerford

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