BUNDABERG farmers have called on Federal Labor Leader Anthony Albanese to commit to providing $600 million in matching federal funding to reinstate Paradise Dam.
Bundaberg Agribusiness lawyer Tom Marland said the commitment was necessary in the event the Labor Party was elected to power at the next Federal election, which is widely tipped to be held in May.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier Stephen Miles made a $600m commitment to fix the embattled dam, calling on the Federal Government to contribute a further $600m to meet the project's $1.2 billion budget.
That call was met by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce on a visit to Bundaberg on February 11, traveling with his parliamentary colleagues Member for Hinkler, Keith Pitt, and Colin Boyce, the Member for Callide and candidate for the Federal electorate of Flynn.
Mr Joyce said returning the dam to its full 300,000 megalitre capacity would give farmers, businesses and households confidence they would have access to the water they needed in the decades ahead.
"Farmers in the region have spent the last two years in limbo, worrying if they'll have the water they need to support and grow their businesses into the future," Mr Joyce said.
"It's all well and good for the Queensland Labor Government to say they'll fix the dam, but the funding they've committed falls well short of what's required to complete the job.
"Committing enough money to half repair the dam doesn't allay the fears of locals, which is why the Liberal and Nationals Government is putting the remaining money on the table to get the job done."
Mr Marland said a similar commitment was now required from Mr Albanese in the event the Labor Party was elected to power.
"However, 12 days after the Deputy Prime Minister's announcement, we haven't heard boo from the leader of the opposition about Paradise Dam," Mr Marland said.
"In fact, as far as I'm aware the Labor Party haven't announcement a candidate for Hinkler yet either.
"We call on Mr Albanese and the Federal Labor Party to publicly commit to this nation building project and to support their State Government counterparts," Mr Marland said.
Mr Marland is also leading a class action over the failure of Paradise Dam on behalf of local farmers.
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