Labor, LNP remain '100% committed' to Rookwood Weir
4.30PM: LABOR and Liberal politicians have re-affirmed their commitment to Rookwood Weir, despite an independent assessment finding "insufficient evidence” of immediate need.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister were still "100% committed to Rookwood Weir” and had the money on the table.
She said the assessment didn't remove the weir's "priority initiative” status, keeping it among the top infrastructure projects in the longer term future.
Despite the findings, Ms Landry said the project was necessary for Central Queensland's future.
"I believe this area has been neglected for a long time,” she said.
"It's our turn to get some of these major infrastructure projects going.”
Ms Landry said as far as she was aware, construction was still set to start in the dry season next year.
Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke echoed Ms Landry's comments, saying the State Government would not walk away from the commitment.
"We've been getting on with this project and SunWater is on the job, talking to primary producers about their need for irrigation water,” he said.
"This project means jobs and business opportunities, as well as future water security, for central Queensland.
"That's 200 construction jobs at peak and high-value agricultural production along the Fitzroy River within two years of construction starting.
"Most importantly, this is about water security for Rockhampton and Gladstone.”
EARLIER: ROOKWOOD Weir has been pushed down the Australian Government's list of priorities after an independent assessment found there was "insufficient evidence” to show an immediate need.
Infrastructure Australia revealed today its assessment of the Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project had found costs were likely to exceed the benefits at this time.
Chief Executive Philip Davies said although the project may be needed in the longer term, there was insufficient evidence to show it was required now.
"We recognise the importance of long-term water supply planning in the Lower Fitzroy and Gladstone regions,” he said.
"However the short-term need for an additional 4000 megalitres of water to the Livingstone Shire Council region does not currently require the construction of a weir which could provide 76,000 megalitres each year.
"The other driver for the project, which is connecting the Lower Fitzroy River to Awoonga Dam to diversify supply, is a longer-term need and most likely not required until 2037.”
Mr Davies said a staged approach should be considered as a more cost-effective way to secure water supply.
"We support Building Queensland's recommendation in the business case to clearly establish customer demand for additional water before the project proceeds,” he said.