Mackay Conservation Group's Urannah Campaign organiser Annabel Gorman Deane. Picture: Facebook
Mackay Conservation Group's Urannah Campaign organiser Annabel Gorman Deane. Picture: Facebook

Meet Mackay Conservation Group’s anti-Urannah Dam activist

Mackay Conservation Group has employed a Sydney-based small business owner to campaign against the Urannah Dam project.

Mackay Conservation Group, in a statement, confirmed it had employed Annabel Gorman Deane as its new Urannah Campaign organiser.

"Annabel's role will be to channel wide community opposition of the project into effective action to protect the habitat of the beautiful Urannah Creek and the rich and diverse life that it supports, including the Irwin's Turtle," it said.

"Some of the key issues that community members want include evidence-based decision making process and sustainable outcomes for our biologically rich river systems."

Ms Deane's LinkedIn profile has her listed as a Sydney-based business owner at Earth Packaging Co.

Mackay Conservation Group's Urannah Campaign organiser Annabel Gorman Deane. Picture: Facebook
Mackay Conservation Group's Urannah Campaign organiser Annabel Gorman Deane. Picture: Facebook

Dawson MP George Christensen, who has been a fierce supporter of Urannah Dam, said the group's decision to hire a "professional activist" highlighted the need for more locals to get behind the job-creating project.

"For more than a year I've been warning that the extreme greens are going to wage a campaign against the job-creating Urannah Dam project, just like they did with the Carmichael Mine, and now they've employed a professional activist to campaign against it," Mr Christensen said.

"This is all the more reason why people should sign on to support my Build Urannah campaign."

In June last year, Mr Christensen and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry warned the conservation group was collecting funds to launch an attack on the water scheme.

"These are the same activist groups who chain themselves to mine, rail and port equipment, block roads, block access to Mackay businesses and hold up peak-hour traffic in Brisbane," the Dawson MP said at the time.

The Daily Mercury contacted Ms Deane for a response, but did not receive one by deadline.

The State Government's co-ordinator-general has prepared draft terms of reference for an environmental-impact statement for Urannah Dam, which sets out what project proponent Bowen River Utilities must address when preparing the EIS.

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Michelle Landry with Dawson MP George Christensen and Bowen River Utilities CEO John Cotter touring Collinsville near the Urannah Dam site.
Michelle Landry with Dawson MP George Christensen and Bowen River Utilities CEO John Cotter touring Collinsville near the Urannah Dam site.

Community members can comment on whether the draft TOR is adequate or not until comments close at 5pm on January 29.

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.

It would deliver a new dam on Broken River, with a capacity of up to 1.5 million megalitres, as well as a water pipeline network and an irrigated precinct for high value agriculture.

The water project would also include a pumped hydro-electricity power scheme in the upper Broken River Valley, north west of Mackay.

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