141119 bradfield speech senate

141119 bradfield speech senate


– Thank you, Senator Hanson. Senator McDonald. – The old saying, “water is
life” can’t be stressed enough when we discuss regional Australia. And it’s clear, only the
Liberal and National Parties take water seriously, in this country. In Queensland, especially,
we’ve had Labour governments, for 18 of the past 21 years, who’ve been content to
let water run out to sea, rather than capture it
for the benefit of people. Anyone who’s been to our
tropical north during the annual wet season, will be amazed, and probably saddened, at how much crystal clear,
precious water is lost. Dams are not only good for people, but they become hotbeds of activity for native plants and animals. Why Labour has stalled on developing even minor water infrastructure, let alone a Bradfield type scheme, is a shameful mystery. Now, the Queensland LNP has announced that if, that it, if elected, will build a Bradfield type scheme, that will make our state
the envy of Australia. An early, and critical stage,
after the dam construction, is the allocation and
distribution of water into the Big Rocks Weir
near Charters Towers, the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme, and the Richmond Irrigation Scheme. These projects are critical to the development of North Queensland. On a recent visit with
Richmond Mayor, John Wharton, his vision and excitement
for his community, with the development of
cropping and value-add industry in that area, was contagious. The plains of promise stretched before us, as Mayor Wharton described the dreams of earlier pioneers, realised. I also had the opportunity to see a trial chickpea crop, and a magnificent forage sorghum crop that were both beyond your wildest dreams, in the rich blacksoil plains of that area. In Hughenden, the HIPCo project, and 15 Mile Project also, hold incredible opportunity
for that community. There is a projection
of 1000 additional jobs. That means more families,
more teachers, more services and more opportunity. Mayor Jane McNamara has
excited farmers from down south with the idea of good soils, warm climate, less pests, and now just add water, and Hughenden has unlimited potential. It is the same for Charters Towers, with the Big Rocks Weir project. A 30 million dollar project,
where Mayor Liz Schmidt has big ideas to secure the beef industry, with additional feed to be
grown throughout the season, and additional water will
secure the town’s water supply as well as provide another
recreational space. And, one day, I hope that
my home town of Cloncurry will also be able to enjoy a new dam, with the Cave Hill project
that has been scoped, and is working into the
feasibility study stage now. Queensland Labour have had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to match our Federal Coalition
Government’s enthusiasm and funding for new dams. Which shows just how out of touch they are with people outside of
south-east Queensland. Not only will these monumental
projects store water, they’ll provide plentiful dispatchable, emissions-free power. Unfortunately, this does take time. And as the proverb states, “The best time to plant a
tree, was 20 years ago.” The second best time is now. Labor’s dropped the
ball on water projects, which should have been completed by now. The Coalition, and our state counterparts, are ready to pick up the slack. On the 4th September 2019, the Queensland Government advised it will not continue with the Nogoa Mackenzie Water Supply Scheme, efficiency improvement project. That government has also released megalitres of water from the
Paradise Dam, near Bundaberg. A dam that they built, not that long ago, repaired, at enormous expense, and now has announced that it needs to release water, and reduce
the size of the dam wall. It has also announced
it wants to scale back the size of the Rookwood
Weir, near Rockhampton, which will result in less opportunity, less agricultural land available to that town and that community. Labour just doesn’t get it, when it comes to water. And it would be laughable, if it wasn’t so serious. The National Water Grid Authority commenced operation on October 1, and is bringing together
world’s best science to identify and plan water infrastructure. The authority’s objectives are to work with state and
territory governments to identify water projects, such as the revised Bradfield scheme, and deliver them via the
government’s 1.5 billion dollar National Water Infrastructure
Development Fund, and the two billion dollar National Water
Infrastructure Loan Facility. There is money available to
the states via this funding, especially via the two
billion dollar loan facility, which can provide concessional loans, to co-fund the construction of economically viable water infrastructure. The Australian Government is getting on with the job of building
new water infrastructure, to meet the needs of regional Australia. Our recent announcement
of a jointly funded, one billion dollar infrastructure package in New South Wales, is further proof that this government is delivering the funding needed to fast-track construction
of water infrastructure for regional Australia. The government has now
committed 1.48 billion dollars through the fund and loan facility, to co-fund the construction of 21 water infrastructure projects, with a total construction value of more than 2.6 billion dollars. Our investments in these projects will guarantee new, and affordable, water for regional
Australia, into the future, and unlock the economic potential for new and expanded agriculture
in regional Australia. The government is also now providing more than 132.9 million
dollars from the fund for 52 studies to help the states to get water infrastructure projects off the drawing board,
and into construction. And, in addition, we’ve
committed 195 million dollars to deliver stage two of
Townsville’s Haughton Pipeline, to support the city’s access
to reliable water supply into the future. I couldn’t complete
speaking, this evening, without mentioning the decades of work that Sir Leo Hielscher and
Sir Frank Moore have done to keep the concept and the dream of the Bradfield Scheme
alive in Queensland. Sir Leo and Sir Frank’s work, in previous histories of
government in Queensland, meant that there was infrastructure, reasonable and affordable water, reasonable and affordable electricity, and land, opened up throughout the state, which allowed Queensland,
not just to prosper, but to really thrive and to
be a world’s best economy. And those gentlemen are
behind this project. They are excited about this project, and I can only hope that they
are listening this evening.

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