Feds committed to Emu Swamp build
EMU Swamp Dam is as close to realisation as it's ever been.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud will tour the proposed dam site next Wednesday, it's been announced.
While there's still some work to do to get funds from the State Government, Maranoa MP David Littleproud said the Federal Government will be ready to come to the party.
"Well definitely (funding is there). I think the fact that a lot of the work has already progressed from the new Emu Swamp Dam proponents to the extent that a business case is with the State Government.
"The money is now there, we've been able to secure an extra $500 million for the national water initiative.
"I have had discussions with the State Government about ticking off the dam business case so the Federal Government can work to help facilitate our part of that.
"We'll fund up to 50 per cent, which on the current estimate of an $84 million dam is about $42 million. Obviously we'll be asking the State to contribute, growers have already said that they'll contribute ($23.4 million).
"There's also an opportunity for the Regional Investment Corporation to top up any short fall.
"The hard work and heavy lifting has been done so now it's about getting the ducks aligned and getting access to the cash that's there," Mr Littleproud said.
The pair will speak with local farmers on Wednesday, with a planned visit to Kirra Pines in the diary. "We'll be talking to growers who are very keen to see this happen," Mr Littleproud said.
"In fact, I think Emu Swamp is more ahead of the game than other water projects around the country.
"I can go and build as many holes as I want but we can't fill them until the State Government says we can, because they own the resource.
"I've had constructive discussions with Minister Anthony Lynham (Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy) and he's been reasonable and understanding of the fact we need to expedite this.
"I think we've got a real good opportunity of getting our name up the front. This will be the impetus to take Stanthorpe to a new level," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister McCormack said the LNP Government are committed to dam building.
"I'm looking forward to seeing first hand the potential for Emu Swamp Dam to deliver greater water security for the region and grow the local economy.
"David Littleproud and I are both passionate about growing regional communities and we know in order to do this we have to add water and we are serious about building dams," he said.