Feds commit $483m to Central Queensland’s Urannah Dam project

Beef Central, 17/03/2022

AS pre Federal election activity moves into higher gear, the Coalition Government has today committed $483 million towards building the Urannah Dam near Collinsville in Central Queensland.

Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce told a Queensland Rural Press Club gathering at lunch today that the project was part of a plan for a stronger future, driving further development for the people of Central Queensland.

Barnaby Joyce addresses the Queensland Rural Press Club lunch this afternoon

Through the 2022-23 Budget, the Government was “putting the money in the bank” to fund the project, pending demonstration of value for money and sufficient public benefit for investment, Mr Joyrce said.

He said the proposed Urannah Dam had the support of the Commonwealth Government, but while the Queensland Labor government claimed to support the project, it had so far failed to commit to any funding.

The 970-gigalitre dam and 200km pipeline network could unlock 103-gigalitres of water, enabling local producers to develop up to 20,000 hectares of irrigated agriculture, covering forage crops for livestock, orchard crops, and horticulture.

It could also provide a secure and affordable water supply for mining, industrial and urban use, securing the region’s water future and creating new and expanded opportunities for businesses and industries, Mr Joyce said.

The project would open up 20,000ha of prime agricultural land and support more than 1800 jobs during the construction and operations phases.

“Our Government understands that building and growing our nation requires industries that produce wealth, such as the mining, agriculture and farming sectors,” he said.

“It is these industries that earn the export dollars that will help make our country as strong as possible as quickly as possible. That’s why we have put $483 million in the bank to build Urannah Dam. Our investment will further drive the development of Central and North Queensland, ensuring businesses, industries and households have the water security they need to grow into the future.

“This will deliver the wealth and new opportunities that will underpin a better standard of living in the regional towns and communities of Central and North Queensland.

He said the Labor Party would not deliver the projects that create jobs and build regional industries because they did not understand regional Australia.

“We stand behind regional Australia and that’s why we have put this money in the bank.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the 50 percent funding commitment from the Coalition Government reinforced our commitment to regional and rural communities.

“The Coalition Government knows just how vital water projects like Urannah Dam are for local industries, their workers and the communities that rely on them. This transformative dam will go a long way to providing a viable water source to support 30 active projects and 71 new local projects, cementing the importance of this investment for communities of Central and North Queensland.

“It is time for the Queensland Labor Government to step up and commit the other 50pc of funding to this vital project. They have been beholden to the Greens and they’ve turned their back on water projects in the state for decades.”

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said locals had been talking about Urannah Dam for half a century because the project would not only secure a water supply but create new industries and jobs.

Mr Joyce said the Urannah announcement built on a suite of dams and water infrastructure projects the Coalition was already investing in and delivering across Queensland, including:

  • $600 million towards the restoration of Paradise Dam
  • $183.6 million towards the Rookwood Weir
  • $180 million towards the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme, and
  • $30 million towards the Big Rocks Weir.

A business case for the construction of Urannah Dam is underway and is expected to be completed later this year.

  • More from Barnaby’s Rural Press Club address tomorrow.





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