Queensland Water Supply minister Mark Bailey will on Tuesday announce $15m in funding for water infrastructure projects.
Queensland Water Supply minister Mark Bailey will on Tuesday announce $15m in funding for water infrastructure projects. Emma Clarke

State steps in to fund multi-million project

THE Queensland Government will lend $15 million for projects meant to be 100% federally funded.

Queensland Water Supply Minister Mark Bailey will announce in Mackay this morning that the government will spend $15 million to kickstart 15 water projects across Queensland.

Included in this allocation will be $2 million for Building Queensland for a business case for raising the Eden Bann weir and a new Rookwood weir in the Lower Fitzroy that could improve supply to Gladstone and surrounding regions.

Mr Bailey said although the 15 projects were offered funding under the 100% Federal Government National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, the money was only offered in arrears.

He said many proponents were councils and non-government groups who needed the money upfront to proceed with the projects.

 

Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce speaks during a news conference in Brisbane, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Mr Joyce challenged opposition leader Bill Shorten in regards to Senator Sam Dastyari accepting money and gifts from a China-based business in 2015. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING
Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce speaks during a news conference in Brisbane, Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Mr Joyce challenged opposition leader Bill Shorten in regards to Senator Sam Dastyari accepting money and gifts from a China-based business in 2015. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING DAN PELED

But Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the scheme works under Federal-State funding arrangements that have been in place for nearly a decade.

"A total of 15 proponents in Queensland were offered funds for feasibility studies under the Turnbull government's NWIDF, however, as compared to other states, the majority of successful proponents in Queensland are small organisations - 10 of the proponents are either councils, not-for-profits or industry associations," Mr Bailey said.

"Some smaller proponents have advised that they might not be able to proceed without better, more flexible cash flows ... Mr Joyce failed to tell these proponents that they would only receive funding in arrears.

The funding will support business cases and investigations into projects in the Lockyer Valley, Isaac, Bundaberg, Gayndah, Lower Fitzroy, Urannah and Stanthorpe regions.

But a spokeswoman for Mr Joyce said the scheme was designed to be funded through the State Government under intergovernmental frameworks Queensland signed in 2008.

"Given the Queensland Government is responsible for water management in Queensland, yet the Commonwealth is providing 100% of the funding for these studies, it would be expected that the Queensland Government would at least cashflow these projects," she said.

The dam projects are:

$120,000 for Lockyer Valley council investigation into recharging groundwater aquifers.

$225,000 for Isaac council to develop a strategy to improve Clermont's water supply.

$650,000 to update a business case to deliver recycled water for irrigators in Darling Downs, Lockyer and Ripley areas.

$750,000 to investigate upgrading the Bundaberg Water Supply Scheme channels and pipelines.

$1.23 million to investigate new water storages and upgrades to the Claude Wharton Weir and develop a new sugar irrigation scheme.

$2 million for Building Queensland for a business case for raising the Eden Bann weir and a new Rookwood weir in the Lower Fitzroy.

$3 million for Initiative Capital for a feasibility study for the proposed Urannah Dam.

$3.97 million for the Southern Downs council for a feasibility study on the proposed Emu Swamp Damp near Stanthorpe.

ARM NEWSDESK



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