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Joyce accuses Qld Labor govt of weir delay

AAP logoAAP 24/10/2016 Darren Cartwright

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce blames in-fighting between Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her deputy Jackie Trad for preventing a $130 million weir being constructed in central Queensland.

Mr Joyce claims disagreements between the Labor leaders are the reason the state has not moved forward on Rockhampton's Rookwood Weir despite the federal coalition committing $130 million to the project.

The agriculture and water resources minister says besides the Rookwood Weir, almost $20 million had been put aside to fast-track 14 feasibility studies in Queensland and only one - Nullinga Dam - has proceeded.

"What I believe is that Jackie Trad and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk are having a scrap, they're fighting their numbers and they are trying to get Green preferences around about two-and-a-half kilometres from this building," said Mr Joyce from Brisbane's CBD.

"They are compromising the rest of Queensland."

In September, Ms Trad dismissed claims she wanted to be premier despite reports of political unrest within the state Labor party.

State Water Supply Minister Mark Bailey dismissed Joyce's in-fighting claims and said the problem centred around the way the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund was administered.

He said the fund was paid in arrears and many councils and non-government organisations (NGOs) did not have the funds, nor the cash flow, to pay up front for feasibility studies.

"The Turnbull government failed to tell proponents that payment under the fund would be once yearly in arrears and is yet to provide a single cent of funding to the 14 successful proponents," Mr Bailey said.

"Some NGO and local government study proponents have advised they have insufficient funds to initiate projects and to carry the costs."

Mr Bailey said he had written to Mr Joyce asking for a more flexible funding arrangement.

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