BIG IDEAS: Queensland Senator Matt Canavan .
BIG IDEAS: Queensland Senator Matt Canavan . Matt Taylor GLA090519ODOWD

Senator targets 'iconic' project for region

SENATOR Matt Canavan says he'd like to see an "iconic" project delivered to the region and funded by the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility.

Speaking to The Observer about all things Central Queensland, Senator Canavan stopped short of revealing who he had been speaking with and when the project would be delivered.

But he was keen to focus on projects "post the Adani fiasco".

"What we lack now in this area is a major project ... the next big project hasn't hit the ground," Senator Canavan said.

"My direction to the NAIF for example, coming back as the (Northern Australia) minister, has been (asking) 'I'd like you to find an iconic project'.

"They've funded projects but not something that is mind-blowingly iconic or a game changer and I'd like to find something."

Senator Canavan said there were projects involving the Gladstone port that could "fit that bill".

"I can't go into the details because of commercial and confidence but there's enormous opportunity," he said.

"It's the second biggest port in the country and there's lots of greenfield sites and a couple of really good proposals where NAIF might be involved.

"It will be very important for Gladstone but more importantly it will have that iconic nation-building status for the whole country."


An LNG Tanker arriving in Gladstone Harbour.
An LNG Tanker arriving in Gladstone Harbour. Mike Richards GLA091108LNGS

What that project is remains to be seen but it's unlikely to be nuclear power as recently tabled by Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd.

"Nuclear is still banned but we've established an inquiry on that," Senator Canavan said.

"One of the projects is hydrogen-related ... it has got a hydrogen component to it.

"The hydrogen market is relatively small globally at the moment and I think we need to be careful about raising expectations about that.

"This (proposed) project isn't targeting the hydrogen market because it wants to get a project going right now. It's other markets who have significant demand.

"The hydrogen process is going to take decades to come to fruition and we should work at that, we should be at the ground level participating in that, but these things take time."

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