The $200 million Water Infrastructure Development Fund announced as part of the Northern Australia White Paper will provide funding for feasibility and scoping studies for projects of merit across the whole of Northern Australia
The Chair of the White Paper Implementation Oversight Committee, northern-based Senator Ian Macdonald, has said that this is the best way to get the widest range of projects “shovel-ready”.
“Developing Northern Australia is all about attracting investment to create growth, jobs and prosperity for the north and for all Australians,” Senator Macdonald said.
“And in the 2015-16 Budget we announced $5 billion in concessional loans to help governments and corporations to achieve their business cases for investing in major projects in the north.
“But what we have done is acknowledge that water infrastructure projects have unique local attributes that need to be investigated.
“Clearly comments by the Member for Kennedy criticising the White Paper without bothering to read it are just plain wrong.
“Had Mr Katter bothered to read the White Paper he would have seen that the $200 million Water Infrastructure Development Fund will help to bring the greatest possible number of feasible projects to a point where they are ready for serious investor consideration,” said the Senator.
The soon-to-be-released Agricultural White Paper will provide further clarity and direction on the development of key water infrastructure projects across the nation.
Senator Macdonald said that the Fund, as well as the range of other announcements under the Northern Australia White Paper, are great news for regional Queensland agriculture, industry and communities.
“This is a very exciting time for northern Queensland because this region is one of the main population centres in Northern Australia.
“Literally billions of dollars-worth of new and innovative projects are coming to the north and the communities of northern and western Queensland – such as those in the electorate of Kennedy – are in prime position to reap the benefits of this Northern Australian investment and growth renaissance.
“I hope that everyone in the region shares and is keen to participate in the Coalition government’s positive and growth-focused vision for the north,” Senator Macdonald said.