Media | State News

Queensland’s dam funding dries up due to divisive Labor

21st September 2016
  • Palaszczuk Labor Government delays distributing $20 million of federal funding
  • Labor’s delays put further funding at risk with $2 billion on offer
  • Queensland’s water security in jeopardy over administrative arrogance

Shadow Infrastructure Minister Deb Frecklington said reports the Palasczcuk Labor Government had refused to administer and distribute $20 million of grants for feasibility studies for 14 dam projects across the state were extraordinary.

Ms Frecklington said Labor’s refusal flew in the face of the long established Federal Financial Relations Framework.

“The refusal by the Palasczcuk Labor Government to distribute the funding for 14 feasibility studies into vital water infrastructure projects is yet another example of how divided this government is,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Labor is threating Queensland’s ability to secure more funding from the Turnbull Government’s $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.

“The level of funding on offer from the Turnbull Government for water infrastructure is a once-in-a- generation opportunity and Queensland will miss out if the 14 feasibility studies are delayed.”

Ms Frecklington said Annastasia Palaszczuk needed to show some leadership and step in before Mark Bailey blew an opportunity to boost agricultural production by billions and create thousands of new jobs.

Shadow Water Minister Michael Hart said Queensland had secured the first funding from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and more money than other state, yet Labor was still playing politics.

“Mark Bailey needs to ditch his administrative arrogance and get on with distributing $20 million of funding for dam feasibility studies” he said.

“Australia and Queensland have a water security problem.

“Water supply has dropped by 25% per capita since the 1980s and more dams are needed for Queensland to further develop its food and fibre industries.

“I am calling on State Labor MPs, Glenn Butcher, Brittany Lauga, Bill Byrne, Leanne Donaldson, Julieanne Gilbert, Aaron Harper, Coralee O’Rourke and Scott Stewart to put pressure on Curtis Pitt and Mark Bailey to sort out this squabble over paper work and start moving on these feasibility studies.

“Queenslanders can’t afford more inaction from this Palaszczuk Labor Government.


In the 2016/17 Budget, the Federal Coalition announced a $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility to support major water infrastructure projects, such as dams, building on the $510 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

National Water Infrastructure Development Fund:

The $509.5 million fund has two parts:

  • the feasibility component ($59.5 million) and
  • the capital component ($450 million). This funding will be available from 2017-18.

Queensland received the largest share of any State for feasibility studies. The list of Queensland projects funded is below:

  • Feasibility study for the Nullinga Dam - Funding of up to $5,000,000
  • Emu Swamp Dam final feasibility study - Funding of $3,970,000
  • Feasibility study for North West Queensland Strategic Water Storage - Funding of $1,765,000
  • Lakeland Irrigation Area - Funding of $825,000
  • Gayndah Regional Irrigation Development (GRID) project - Funding of $1,231,024
  • Burdekin Falls Dam Raising feasibility study - Funding of $400,000
  • Burdekin Haughton Channel Capacity Upgrade feasibility study - Funding of $1,915,000
  • Bundaberg Channel Capacity Upgrade feasibility study - Funding of $750,000
  • Urannah Dam - Funding of $3,000,000
  • Rookwood Weir Development Feasibility Studies - Funding of $2,000,000
  • Utilising South-East Queensland's Treated Effluent for Agricultural Production – NUWater - Funding of $650,000
  • Southern Atherton Tablelands Irrigation Development - Funding of $750,000
  • Clermont: Providing Water Security and Economic Growth - Funding of $225,000
  • Aquifer recharge for agriculture productivity and sustainability - Funding of $120,000
  • Hells Gate dam feasibility study - Funding of $2,200,000