Water fight ignites: feud over money for irrigation projects
CLAIMS new water projects on the Burnett River have been put on hold due to the State Government's inaction have the Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson seeing red.
Opposition water supply spokesman Michael Hart said Labor had been offered $19.8 million towards 14 dam feasibility studies to secure Queensland's water supply, but has failed to take the federal government up on its offer.
"The money is on the table from the Federal Government for these feasibility studies, but unfortunately (Premier) Annastacia Palaszczuk isn't interested, and it's Queenslanders who will suffer,” Mr Hart said.
"Queensland is the only mainland State Government that hasn't agreed to distribute the Federal Government's funding for vital water projects.
The opposition says Labor's inaction is holding up projects like the Gayndah Regional Irrigation Development in the North Burnett and the Bundaberg Channel Capacity Upgrade.
Ms Donaldson, the minister for agriculture and fisheries, said Mr Hart's claims of inaction by the Queensland Government putting key water infrastructure projects at risk were "weak as water”.
"The National Water Infrastructure Development Fund is fully funded by the Federal Turnbull Government and successful proponents were chosen by the Federal Agriculture and Water Resources Minister, Barnaby Joyce,” she said.
"The Turnbull Government failed to tell proponents that payment under the fund would be once yearly in arrears and is yet to provide a single cent of funding to the 14 successful proponents.”
Some study proponents say they have insufficient funds to start projects.