Butcher excited about being sworn in to Palaszczuk ministry
GLADSTONE MP Glenn Butcher says he is honoured and excited to be reappointed Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing with the added responsibility of the Water portfolio in the new Palaszczuk government cabinet.
Currently recovering after discectomy surgery to alleviate sciatic pressure on his spine from a ruptured disc, Mr Butcher is studying briefing notes on his new portfolio, which is critical to Queensland’s future.
Formerly the Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing, Mr Butcher said he would be sworn into his new ministerial positions today.
“To come out now and get an extra portfolio in the ministry was fantastic,” he said.
“The whole portfolio is absolutely brilliant, and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’m a big go, look, see type of person, so hopefully I get over this injury and spend a few weeks over Christmas then next year we will get into it.”
With large parts of the state and the nation still drought declared, the responsibility for water has never been more critical.
“It was highlighted certainly during the election by both major parties, and it works so well with the portfolios I already have, with regional development and manufacturing,” Mr Butcher said.
“I will be going out visiting the regional communities and start talking about water and regional development with them.”
His new role will have him overseeing the construction of the Rookwood Weir, between Gladstone and Rockhampton.
“Obviously that’s critical to Central Queensland and particularly Gladstone for water security for industries for the future,” he said.
“That’s close to my heart, making sure that job gets done and that weir gets built.
“A local company run by Bob McCosker has got one of the big contracts, which is absolutely fantastic for Gladstone.
“The work that he will be doing up there is creating jobs for local people which is fantastic.”
Plans have changed on the Rookwood Weir from the initial proposal.
“It has been pared down just a little bit,” Mr Butcher said.
“The initial one was a 76,000 megalitre gated structure, but now it’s down to a 50,000 megalitre ungated weir.
“SunWater are in charge of that and they have been paid $101 million to get that up and going.
“The State Government has put in $101 million so far out of the $365 million and we are certainly looking forward to the feds putting their contribution in and getting this thing fully built and up and running.”
The controversial Paradise Dam near Bundaberg is also on Mr Butcher’s radar.
“There are a few contentious dams around the place, obviously Paradise Dam down near Bundaberg,” he said.
“I want to make sure I get my head around that and go and have a look and see myself what exactly is going on, where we are at with that and a way forward for that project.”