United political front on Rookwood
IT'S NOT often Labor and the LNP agree on an issue, but it seems Rookwood Weir is bridging this political divide in Central Queensland.
Labor candidate for Capricornia Leisa Neaton (pictured) has thrown her support behind Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's announcement of $130 million in Federal Government funding to build Rookwood Weir.
It's been on the agendas of the region's politicians for two decades, something Ms Neaton said pushed it beyond party lines.
"Locally, I have always said this is a priority project," Ms Neaton said.
"I've heard the message loud and clear that it's a priority."
But this hasn't yet been supported by the wider Labor party.
Speaking to southern media yesterday, shadow environment minister Mark Butler wouldn't outline his party's official position on a number of dams in Queensland, including Rookwood.
Mr Butler said the health of the Great Barrier Reef and associated tourism jobs had to be taken into account, along with any jobs stemming from dam projects.
Although it looks like Labor will clarify its position before the election, with Mr Butler saying voters would be "very clear" about the party's plans in regards to the reef and other industries before July 2.
Ms Neaton said she was also pushing for a clear position from Labor leader Bill Shorten.
"I identified it as a priority and spoke directly to Bill Shorten about this project," she said.
"I don't have an announcement about this yet, but there's still 30-something days in this campaign.
"I'll be continuing to have conversations with the party about it. I just want to know at the end of the day it will happen for Capricornia.
"Regardless of who delivers it, I think it's a priority."
When it comes to jobs, Ms Neaton said there was more the Federal Government could do to drive employment while Rookwood was under construction.
She said education and health funding would lead to more jobs in those industries, which would feed back into the community as people spent more in their household budgets.
"They are ways government is helping to provide employment while we're transitioning to the new economy," she said.
In any case, Ms Neaton believes it's time to make a move on Rookwood.
"I'm glad an announcement had been made," she said.