House debates

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Questions without Notice


2:20 pm

Photo of Bob KatterBob Katter (Kennedy, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

Minister for the Environment and Energy, you are aware of Hells Gate dam: irrigation, baseload power, Townsville water supply earning $3,000 million a year; the Galilee coal rail line, earning $6,000 million a year; the phosphate fertiliser project: Burketown's first Australian YIPIPI transportation waterway with prawn farms, earning $7,000 million; and Cape York silicon: the solar key, earning $5,000 million. That is $21 billion a year; $6 billion in tax revenue. If you initiated north Australia's Snowy Mountains authority to build these four projects, as initiator would you then become a Ben Chifley, a great nation builder, as was a previous member for Kooyong, Robert Menzies?

2:21 pm

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment and Energy) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Kennedy for his question. I think they need Sir John Monash in the role in order to use his engineering expertise to build those dams. The coalition has allocated more than $2 billion to new water projects. Indeed, we have a feasibility study underway for Hells Gate. We have allocated more than $100 million for the new Rookwood Weir, but if those opposite could speak to their friends in the Palaszczuk Labor government, it would be good to get some cooperation there.

There is the Nullinga dam and the Urannah dam, and obviously with the Galilee coal mine. These are projects that we are awaiting a decision on, like the Galilee rail line. We are awaiting a decision by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. Those opposite do not know whether they are Arthur or Martha on that. One union has one view; another union has a different view. Our position is we will await the decision of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, but we are in favour of more jobs in the region, whether it is in water, in energy or, indeed, in coal.