OUR SAY: Weir projects inevitable and we need them
IT'S only a matter of time before the Connors River Dam and Rookwood and Eden Bann weir projects go ahead.
This is the message I'm taking from PM Tony Abbott's comments in Rockhampton on Sunday.
"We're going to have a good agricultural sector we need the resource, and the resource agriculture needs above all else is water," Mr Abbott said.
His words come just days after Rockhampton-based senator Matt Canavan and MPs Michelle Landry (Capricornia) and Ken O'Dowd (Flynn) flew over the proposed dam and weir sites.
Senator Canavan said the flight had reinforced his view that dam projects were essential to create more jobs in agriculture and mining in CQ and would provide a big boost for the region's economy.
"Work could start tomorrow (Connors) if the money was committed," he said.
"Planning and approvals for other projects, such as the Nathan Dam, Rookwood Weir and lifting the wall on the existing Eden Bann Weir, are close to being finalised as well."
Well, we are just about there.
The urgency surrounding the Fitzroy projects has certainly jumped following BMA's decision last month to shed 700 jobs in CQ.
But those projects are still years away from completion and while we wait, CQ businesses need support right now.
That could come with tax breaks for small business.
Perhaps it's time for another 100% write off for new equipment and an incentive for hiring new staff.
That would stimulate spending and the flow-on effect that this economy needs as cautious consumers react to the ongoing mining downturn.