LNP gives Queensland farmers cold shoulder

Queensland farmers have been snubbed by the Federal LNP after a number of vital water infrastructure projects were rejected by Canberra.

Queensland’s Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham has challenged Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Queensland LNP members to give Queenslanders a fair go and fund Canberra’s share of three crucial water projects in north and central Queensland.

“I am challenging the federal LNP to help our Queensland farmers and irrigators, who are relying on these projects to maintain their livelihoods,” Dr Lynham said.

“This lack of funding is going to rob our farmers of expansion opportunities, resulting in a loss of jobs and economic growth in regional Queensland.

“I call on the Opposition Leader and Federal LNP MPs to stand up for Queensland and put in a call to Mr McCormack.”

Over multiple rounds of applications, the Palaszczuk Government has sought more than $90 million of capital funding for a range of projects that have a total value of $220 million but have received a commitment of just $15 million from the NWIDF.

Dr Lynham said Canberra had refused to provide half the cost of three essential projects:

  • $8.57M worth of works to increase the peak flow capacity of the Warren’s Gully aquifer recharge and water distribution system near Home Hill
  • $10.84M of works to mitigate rising groundwater in the Burdekin Haughton Water Supply Scheme
  • replace an open channel system with a pipeline network at Theodore in central Queensland, worth $24.82 million

Dr Lynham said Queensland taxpayers would need to stump up all the funding for the Lower Burdekin Groundwater Mitigation Project, which would result in $150 million in economic losses for the region if ignored.

“While all these projects are crucial to the expansion of Queensland’s agricultural sector, the Lower Burdekin Groundwater Mitigation Project is especially important to be finalised,” he said.

“This project cannot simply be put on ice by a lackadaisical Federal government who do not treat Queensland farmers fairly.

“The Palaszczuk Government has stepped in to provide funding for this project, however I will be making sure the Morrison Government pay back what they owe to Queensland.

“We are the only Government investing in water infrastructure and water security for Queenslanders.

“The Federal LNP are all talk but when it comes to putting their money where their mouth is, they fall silent.

“It’s time the LNP put up or shut up.”

/Public Release. View in full here.