State accuses feds of holding out on dam money
SCOTT Morrison has blasted the Queensland Government's failure to build dams and urged the state to stop making excuses as "money has been on the table for ages".
But the State Government immediately hit back, saying the Prime Minister was being "disingenuous" and accused him of withholding funds for two critical dams.
The spat broke out after Mr Morrison said he "loved working with premiers who want to build dams" while announcing a joint $1 billion investment with the NSW Government for building and upgrading dams.
"We are frustrated with the dam infrastructure in Queensland and we make no secret about that and we want to stop getting the run around on those things and we just want to get on with it," he said.
Mr Morrison said the Queensland Government kept shifting the goalposts for the Emu Swamp Dam and Rookwood Weir projects despite the Commonwealth having "money on the table".
Queensland Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said he was "sick and tired" of excuses from Mr Morrison.
"He knows full well the Queensland Government has committed to Emu Swamp Dam and already, without the promised Commonwealth funding, we are getting on with the job with Rookwood Weir," he said.
"It was the PM himself who said 'no' to the Commonwealth contributing further funds to Rookwood to cover increasing costs.
"And there has been no word from the Commonwealth on who will cover any cost overruns on Emu Swamp."
But Federal Water Resources Minister David Littleproud said Emu Swamp, near Stanthorpe, was ready to be built and just needed approvals.
He also called on the State Government to take swift action to build dams after NSW agreed to finalise planning the Mole Diver Dam, just south of the Queensland border, which had the potential to secure water supplies for Stanthorpe and Warwick.
"This is an embarrassment for Queensland," he said.
"The Queensland Government is going down the path of becoming a dependent state.
"We are reaching the point where the state cannot and will not provide for its own people.
"Queensland can't just depend on siphoning New South Wales dry."