LNP announce dam 'game changer'
WITH infighting between the Urannah Dam consortium holding up the Federal Government's feasibility study, the LNP today announced their solution.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls visited the Proserpine Peter Faust Dam today where he said the LNP would start the feasibility study into the Urannah Dam and contribute $10 million to develop an Environmental Impact Statement in their first 100 days if elected.
When asked how he could promise to deliver the commitment despite disagreement across the consortium involving Urannah Properties Association, Bowen Collinsville Enterprise and Initiative Capital, Mr Nicholls said an LNP government would establish a publicly owned company to oversee the study.
"What we are going to do is establish a Queensland Dam company a bit like the Snowy Hydro company to build the Snowy Mountain Scheme, we will be shareholders in it as the State of Queensland and the Federal Government would be co-shareholders. It would be publicly owned and supported by the state government,” he said.
Stage 1 of the Urannah project would have a storage capacity of 863,000 megalitres and would yield 146,000 megalitres after release.
The proposed dam has the potential to open up 20,000-30,000 hectares of fertile farming land.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said the $780 million Urannah project had been put in the "too hard basket” for too long.
"Its been talked about for a long time, Urannah is an aboriginal name which means place of water and it has the capacity to transform the economies from Mackay right through to the Burdekin, its an economic game changer to create jobs right into the 21st century,” he said.
"We want to build dams, the Federal Coalition wants to build dams, but Labor is standing in the way.”
The announcement will also see $1.3 million worth of water infrastructure across Queensland, including the Nullinga Dam, Rookwood Weir, Burdekin Falls Dam and the Haughton Channel upgrade and Ross River Dam pipeline duplication.
The Queensland Government's position is for SunWater to step in and complete the $3 million federal feasibility study, but the Federal Government has not signed off on this approach.
Labor candidate for Whitsunday Bronwyn Taha claimed the LNP's plan would come at a significant cost.
"SunWater already have this information, lets get on with the job and let SunWater establish the feasibility study,” she said.
"I think this is a lot of money for taxpayers to fork out - the real question is where will this money come from and what will be cut to pay for this?”