LNP leader Deb Frecklington speaking at Mackay's Harrup Park Country Club. Picture: Melanie Whiting
LNP leader Deb Frecklington speaking at Mackay's Harrup Park Country Club. Picture: Melanie Whiting

LNP will continue to fight for Urannah Dam, Deb says

LNP leader Deb Frecklington has reaffirmed her party’s support for Urannah Dam, following revelations her husband is employed by the project’s proponent.

The Guardian revealed her husband began working for Bowen River Utilities in September last year.

An LNP spokesman said Jason Frecklington’s employment had been fully declared and a management plan was approved by the Integrity Commissioner.

“In accordance with the advice from the Integrity Commissioner, the Opposition Leader has recused herself from any decisions or policy developments that might reasonably be perceived to have the potential to materially affect her husband’s interests,” he said.

“Practically, the Opposition leader hasn’t been involved in any decisions or policy developments about Urannah Dam since her husband’s employment on the project.”

During a visit to Mackay yesterday, where she unveiled her jobs plan for the region, Ms Frecklington said the party had supported Urannah Dam since 2017, and would continue to do so.

Urannah Creek, site of the Urannah Dam project, west of Mackay.
Urannah Creek, site of the Urannah Dam project, west of Mackay.

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Asked whether she would continue campaigning for the project, she responded: “You betcha”.

“I am immensely proud of my support for building dams in Queensland,” the Opposition leader said.

“The LNP has always supported water projects. This one, in particular, we supported in 2017.”

The LNP has pledged to provide $10 million to Urannah Dam as part of its 2020 election campaign commitments and vowed to ensure it reached shovel-ready stage.

Last month, the major water scheme was declared a new co-ordinated project by Queensland’s Co-ordinator-General.

LNP candidate for Mirani Tracie Newitt with LNP leader Deb Frecklington and LNP candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm. Picture: Melanie Whiting
LNP candidate for Mirani Tracie Newitt with LNP leader Deb Frecklington and LNP candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm. Picture: Melanie Whiting

The game-changing project has the potential to create up to 1200 full-time equivalent jobs during construction and 675 full-time jobs once operational.

During her stop in Mackay, Ms Frecklington also spoke of her support for another job-creating local project.

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She was briefed on Harrup Park Country Club’s $24 million Great Barrier Reef Arena project, which is set to create 180 jobs.

“I have been really pleased with the briefing I have received today and it looks like a project that will support many jobs,” Ms Frecklington said.

“It’s a pretty impressive project.”