Qld Opposition leader Deb Frecklington denies any conflict of interest in her vow to fund a dam. Image by Dan Peled/AAP PHOTOS

Environment

LNP leader denies dam conflict of interest

2020-06-27 14:14:42

Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington has defended her election promise to help fund a dam in central Queensland after it was revealed her husband works for the company that would build it.

If elected, the LNP has committed $10 million dollars towards the $2.9 billion Urannah Dam project, topping up $10 million already promised by the federal coalition government.

One of the key proponents of the 1.5 million megalitre dam is Bowen River Utilities, which employs Jason Frecklington as an Indigenous community engagement and land access manager.

Ms Frecklington says she’s done everything by the book.

“I have sought advice, I’ve have declared at all, I’ve been open and honest about my husband Jason,” Ms Frecklington told reporters on Friday.

“The Integrity Commissioner’s advice to me is that I have done everything correct and I’ll continue to do everything correct.”

She says the LNP has supported the construction of the dam north-west of Mackay since 2017 – two years before her husband began work on the project in September.

“I have ensured that I have excused myself from any decisions in relation to the Urannah Dam project, and I will continue to follow those rules.”

“The LNP has always supported water projects… I’m not going to stop advocating for dams.”

Ms Frecklington would not say if she would release the advice given to her by the Integrity Commissioner.

It isn’t the first time the Urannah Dam project has landed the LNP in hot water.

A 2016 ABC investigation revealed Bowen River Utilities was hand-picked for funding by the federal coalition government while the company’s managing director served on the party’s executive in Queensland.