TRIBAL - Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
TRIBAL - Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull MICK TSIKAS

Senator slams Turnbull, Landry over 'Dear Bill' levee letter

MALCOLM Turnbull and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry have come under fire over a letter from the PM to Bill Shorten.

Gold Coast based Senator Murray Watt yesterday accused Mr Turnbull of adopting Ms Landry's "delay tactics" against the proposed South Rockhampton Flood Levee (SRFL).

Mr Shorten wrote Mr Turnbull on April 11 following his $25 million Federal Labor commitment to the project.

In his July 5 response, Mr Turnbull thanked "Bill" for "writing on the important matter" after throwing his support behind Ms Landry.

He applauded Ms Landry's commitment to ensure there was broad community support for the flood mitigation project; a stance she has carried since it came back to the fore during major flooding in Rockhampton this year.

But Sen Watt is not satisfied, and blames any delay in the Coalition matching the State's $25m commitment on Ms Landry.

"Clearly, rather than convincing her own Prime Minister to find the funds needed, Ms Landry has convinced him to dither, like she has been doing," he said.

"This back and forth is getting ridiculous.

"Despite dozens of expert reports and the support of the Rockhampton Council, State Government and Federal Opposition to fund the levee, Ms Landry and the Turnbull Government continue to dither.

"Even Ms Landry's own survey - itself a delaying tactic - shows preliminary support for a levee.

"But rather than getting on board and demanding funding from her own government, Ms Landry now wants to hold a forum.

"What's next? A referendum about a forum about a survey?"

Ms Landry has hit back, claiming the Rockhampton Regional Council - arguably the project's biggest supporters - have now accepted there are "a lot of doubts in the community".

"And I applaud them for listening to the request for more information," she said.

"Perhaps the FIFO Senator from the Gold Coast should stop pretending he represents the people of Rockhampton, and start actually listening.

"Because we have taken the time to listen to people in Rockhampton, we know that a majority want to see the airport protected, followed by businesses on Gladstone Rd."

Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow assigned $2 million in the draft 2017/18 budget to the SRFL. Council has committed $10m in total.

Engineering experts will lead a community forum on July 10 to explain the levee. Register at seeitlive.com.au


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