A federal Senate inquiry has been announced into water supply issues in south-east Queensland, including the proposed Traveston Dam on the Mary River and raising the dam wall at Borumba Dam. The inquiry has been instigated by concerned federal politicians. In addition, the Traveston Dam project is now a controlled action under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act.
The inquiry cannot interfere with the approval or commencement of the project. However it gives an open, transparent and accountable process by which informed comment on a broad range of matters can be aired.
Public comment is invited from the people of the Mary Valley and other interested parties. See Have your say. Comments must be submitted by 4 April 2007.
Wildlife Queensland says……
The issue of water policy is a controversial subject with everyone having a view. Dams do currently play a role and may in the future but the Traveston Dam is not the answer to the current south-east Queensland water crisis. WPSQ supports this Senate inquiry because it is an impartial and rigorous process. WPSQ trusts that that the Federal Government will exercise its powers wisely and evaluate the science and concern for endangered species.
However WPSQ has been disappointed on many occasions with an apparent reluctance by the Commonwealth to exercise its powers appropriately and minimise environmental harm.
Traveston Dam issues
- Shallow dams lose water. The Traveston Dam is considered shallow.
- The dam’s location will escalate water loss by seepage as well as evaporation because current research shows that the terrain will not hold the water in the dam.
- Based on revised cost estimates of $1.7 billion for stage one (which does not include the cost of ensuring environmental flows), the cost of water to the consumer will be extremely high.
- Environmental flows are necessary for the biodiversity and continued survival of riparian wildlife in the Mary River.
- The proposed site is home to several endangered species. The Mary River is regarded as one of the best sites for the restoration and protection of the lungfish – regarded as a species of global significance because of its extraordinary ancient genetic lineage.
- The lungfish also plays a cultural significant totem for the local Indigenous peoples.
Make submissions to the Senate inquiry by 4 April 2007.
- Email the Senate Inquiry, attaching Word documents to support your comments.
- Email your local Commonwealth member.
- Contact the Referral Section, Commonwealth Department of Environment and Water Resources
For more information, visit our section on water policy
For more information on Wildlife Queensland’s activities, contact us by email or call +61 7 3221 0194.
Wildlife Queensland, March 2007