Solution to Rocky flood levee cost blow-out in the works
TIME is ticking for Rockhampton Regional Council to secure an addition $30 million for the South Rockhampton flood levee but the State and Federal Governments are showing a willingness to find a funding solution.
A fortnight ago, State Development Minister Cameron Dick wrote to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack asking for the Federal Government to join in an independent assessment of the revised costs and benefits associated with the project.
Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke wrote to The Morning Bulletin on Tuesday expressing his frustration with the lack of government response saying Rockhampton region mayor Margaret Strelow has asked for this to be "considered urgently and he shared her desire for a decision to be made as soon as possible".
Following inquiries to Mr McCormack's office, Mr O'Rourke confirmed the Federal Government had made contact with the Queensland Building Authority late on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr McCormack responded saying he had asked the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Government to work with the Rockhampton Regional Council to identify options to progress the levee project.
During his Rockhampton visit yesterday, Mr McCormack expanded on his response saying he was happy to work in good faith with council and State Government to see what could be done.
"We want to get this sort of infrastructure built. Whilst I appreciate there are escalations and over-runs in projects, I am surprised that the over-runs are significant - $30 million is a significant amount of money," Mr McCormack said.
"But the fact is we're a government that gets on and builds things and wants to see better infrastructure for regional areas.
"These sorts of infrastructure projects are an investment in the future and I know all too well the damage that floods can do to a community and we of course want to avoid that."
He said the Australia Government planned to spend $100 billion on infrastructure across the country over the next decade.