Turnbull yet to back Rocky flood levee
Another funding fight is brewing between the jostling Queensland and federal governments, this time over money for a proposed flood levee for Rockhampton.
The state Labor government has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to fund the levee under Category D disaster funding in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.
The Fitzroy River reached a peak of 8.9 metres following massive rains dumped on its catchment by Cyclone Debbie in April, inundating hundreds of homes in low-lying suburbs.
It was the fourth major flood in the city in a decade, and Mayor Margaret Strelow committed the City Council to $10 million worth of the $60 million project.
The state government joined them, offering $25 million, leaving a $25 million funding hole for the Commonwealth to fill.
"This application is before the prime minister and I know Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk raised it with him in Brisbane (on Thursday)," Rockhampton MP and Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said in a statement.
"We are very hopeful Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will approve this Category D application following TC Debbie and severe flooding that flooded."
But the prime minister on Friday wasn't committing to anything, instead indicating a range of options were on the table for the central Queensland city.
"Well, the position is, again, we'll be very guided by Michelle Landry, our federal member here in Rockhampton," Mr Turnbull told ABC radio.
"She is consulting with the community because, as you know, there are mixed views about it. There are some people for it, some are against it. So she's consulting with the community."
The issue follows a high-profile funding fight over Brisbane's cross river rail project, with the federal Coalition government refusing to match the state government's $850 million dollar commitment to get work under way by the end of this year.
Mr Turnbull said they did have $130 million on the table to fund the long-promised Rookwood Weir, which he said would improve water security with minimal environmental impact.
"We're very confident that will give it a huge tick and I'm urging the premier to give it the same support that we have."
© AAP 2017
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