- Palaszczuk Labor Government removes water development option in Water Act, robbing North Queensland of much needed irrigation projects
- Former LNP Government first introduced the option in 2014 which was supported by rural stakeholders and attracted new opportunities for water infrastructure projects
- LNP fought to maintain the option but Labor removed it – ignoring regional Queenslanders and stakeholders
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has dealt a cruel blow to Queensland’s agriculture sector by removing an existing water development option in the Water Act, which will now strip regions of the opportunity for new irrigation projects.
Shadow Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Andrew Cripps said Labor’s pandering to green activist groups had blocked off a critical pathway for new greenfield irrigated agriculture projects and jobs in regional Queensland.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk has again been caught out saying one thing to regional Queenslanders and doing another thing in George Street – making a complete mockery of her jobs, jobs, jobs rhetoric,” Mr Cripps said.
“In 2014, the former LNP Government introduced a water development option in the Water Act that was widely supported by rural industry groups as an important opportunity for Queensland’s agriculture sector.
“By removing this option, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has robbed North Queensland of the opportunity to attract new water infrastructure projects and create jobs in local communities.
“While the Federal LNP Government is rolling out initiatives to develop water infrastructure projects in North Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk is doing her best to make it harder to secure the required water entitlements.”
Mr Cripps said the former LNP Government had established a process for projects to secure a significant water allocation, if they successfully completed a full Environmental Impact Statement process, including public consultation.
“This option provided certainty and security for potential investors in new irrigated agriculture projects in Queensland – it gave them the confidence to know that if their project stacked up, the water would be allocated,” he said.
“The LNP fought to maintain the water development option – but Labor didn’t bother to listen to Queenslanders and have now blocked an important pathway for economic development in our regions.”