Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch with Senator Barnaby Joyce and Member for Hinkler Paul Neville, who have promised to clean up the region’s waterways.
Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch with Senator Barnaby Joyce and Member for Hinkler Paul Neville, who have promised to clean up the region’s waterways. Mike Knott

Water weed harvester for Hinkler

IF a Coalition Government is elected they have promised to clear up the Bundaberg region's waterways with an $180,000 commitment for the purchase of an aquatic weed harvester.

Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce and Member for Hinkler Paul Neville made the announcement on the bank of the Burnett River yesterday, a site that was once infested with weed.

Senator Joyce said the weed harvester would help overcome environmental and social problems for the entire region.

“Anybody who lives, works or plays on the local river systems has been affected by weed build up at one time or another,” he said.

“I'm told at least two million tonnes of weed clog the system during major infestations, and aside from being an aesthetic nuisance, water weed is also a serious threat to native aquatic plants and animals, and waterways themselves.”

While Mr Neville secured a $350,000 package for research and a waterweed harvester in the 2004 election, he said the new machine could access places no weed machine could ever go before.

While Mr Neville said the commitment proved the Coalition was committed to helping local communities solve local problems, Labor candidate for Hinkler Belinda McNeven said she was not convinced Mr Neville was focusing on the right local issues.

“I don't think it's okay to keep making small announcement without explaining why really vital things like the National Broadband Network aren't being funded,” Ms McNeven said.



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