The Labor party cannot be trusted to build Rookwood Weir, Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan said today.
“Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten last night again refused to commit to funding Rookwood Weir,” Senator Canavan said.
“The difference between the Coalition and Labor positions on Rookwood Weir is stark: the Coalition has put $130 million on the table to build it and Labor won’t match us.
“So, the difference between our two positions is $130 million and a desire to see Central Queensland further prosper with more water for agriculture and industry.”
Senator Canavan said the Labor leader was asked a direct question about Rookwood Weir on the SkyNews forum from Brisbane last night.
“A member of the audience asked Mr Shorten ‘Will you commit to building dams in northern Australia such as the Rookwood Weir on the Fitzroy which can double agricultural production in the region and create a couple of thousand jobs?’
“Mr Shorten said ‘We're looking at a feasibility study for that … I get that I think. I've spoken to quite a few proponents who think it will be really good for that part of Queensland. So we're open to doing a feasibility study not greatly different to what the Coalition is proposing.’
“That’s not good enough. Everyone knows Labor is against dams because the Greens and environmental activists are against dams and Labor can’t afford to offend the Greens and the leftwing voters in inner city electorates in Sydney and Melbourne.
“Time and again Mr Shorten has been given the opportunity to fully support building Rookwood Weir and he refuses every time.”
Senator Canavan said Labor’s refusal to support dams also undermined the Labor candidate for Capricornia.
“When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce came to Rockhampton to announce the Coalition’s commitment to put funds into building Rookwood Weir, Labor candidate Leisa Neaton said she wanted Labor and Bill Shorten to match that funding. Well, they haven’t and they won’t.
“Make no mistake: the Coalition is committed to building dams because we believe water infrastructure like Rookwood Weir is vital for the future prosperity of regional and rural Australia and of northern Australia in particular.”