Community Groups to Present Cases for Water Projects

A ‘Fitzroy Water Workshop’ will be held in Rockhampton to enable the region’s key federal MPs to hear detailed cases for competing water project concepts in the region.

The workshop, on Wednesday October 28, will be hosted by Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry, Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd and Rockhampton-based Senator Matt Canavan.

Ms Landry is fighting for Commonwealth backing of water infrastructure for the region and said the workshop would provide various community groups with the opportunity to present their views and evidence on different projects.

“It’s vital that we gather as much information about the future use of water from the Fitzroy system as we can, so we can make the best possible arguments for the region when debating with Federal Ministers and government colleagues about water infrastructure spending,” Ms Landry said.

“Australia is a big, dry continent and there are various arguments about what weirs or dams should be built across the country. That’s especially true in the Fitzroy system. I am particularly keen to hear the options on projects that would boost the Rockhampton economy and create local jobs – especially projects that can be sensibly supported by local, state and federal governments.”

Mr O’Dowd said the Fitzroy system had the capacity to supply agricultural, industrial and domestic water needs for a large area of Central Queensland for future decades.

“The workshop is part of a process to gather information, help ensure that we are as well informed as possible and give stakeholders and the general public an opportunity to discuss future options,” he said.

“It will discuss a range of issues related to harnessing water from the Fitzroy system, and topics for discussion will include proposals for dams, including the Connors River Dam, The Fitzroy Gap, raising the height of Eden Bann Weir, Rookwood Weir and Nathan Dam.”

Senator Canavan said there were more infrastructure projects in Australia than funds to construct them, so it was important that expensive projects like dams and water pipelines could demonstrate value for money.

“There are always going to arguments about which infrastructure projects should be funded,” he said. “That’s true at the local level and sure is true at the national level, with fierce competition for the available funding.

“Michelle, Ken and I have to take the best possible arguments to Canberra so the Fitzroy system is at the front and centre of Minister’s minds when the project list for future Australian infrastructure is drawn up.”

The workshop will be open to the public and will include short presentations by invited speakers, followed by a panel discussion and questions from the audience. The aim is to provide information on potential projects – including needs and capacity, challenges, benefits and costs and hear stakeholder views, the MPs said.

The Fitzroy Water Workshop will be held on Wednesday 28 October from 2 to 5 pm at the CQU’s CQIRP Agricultural Conference Centre in Ibis Avenue, North Rockhampton.

Seating is limited and people wanting to attend must register by Wednesday, October 21 by emailing senator.canavan@aph.gov.au

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