Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Barnaby, Byrne Talk Weir and Coal Barnaby and Byrne Talk Coal

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Barnaby, Byrne Talk Weir and Coal Barnaby and Byrne Talk Coal

Article excerpt

Byline: Leighton Smith Leighton.Smith@capnews.com.au

IN town for a 'Politics in the Pub' function last night and the National Party's strategic planning meeting today, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was joined by Capricornia MP Michelle Landry to discuss some of CQ's topical issues.

They discussed weighty topics of building Rookwood Weir and tackling rising power prices by constructing a coal fired power station.

"What would be great for Rockhampton would be Rookwood Weir," Mr Joyce said. "We've chucked $130 million on the table, put money on the table for the feasibility study and just nothing happens, complete inertia.

"I was here over a year ago trying to get Rookwood going, the State Government needs to get going on this. I don't know what's happened to the honourable Bill Byrne, he doesn't seem to be able to push it forward."

Mr Joyce said once Rookwood Weir was going they would be able to drive thousands of jobs and over a billion dollars worth of income into Rockhampton.

Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne responded saying the funding couldn't be allocated for the project until the business case was complete, due in the third quarter of the year in September.

"That business case will go for consideration by Building Queensland then government will make a decision that will be made public in October when that happens - it's exactly as we said it would be.

"A redacted version will be made public because of the commercial confidence of these business cases.

"Now I don't know what the outcome will be but I can tell you this, if the business case stacks up, I'll be going for it, but I'm not going to have the Rookwood Weir built if it means you get a 30% increase on your water rates."

Mr Joyce said to deal with the issue of high power prices, base load power was essential. That's why he was driving forward the solution of constructing a new coal fired power station and keeping existing power stations open. …

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