The Hon Michelle Landry MP
Shadow Assistant Minister for Manufacturing
Member for Capricornia
Andrew Willcox MP
Member for Dawson
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry, and Federal Member for Dawson Andrew Willcox, are calling on the Federal Labor Government to immediately reinstate funding for the Urannah Dam project and deliver on this crucial water security plan that is waiting and ready to go.
The Minister for the Environment and Water announced yesterday that the funding for the Urannah Dam had been cancelled and is no longer in the budget. The reason the funding was scrapped is because of the apparent threat of runoff that would impact the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, along with a lack of environmental assessment.
“This is incredibly disappointing that the Minister has confirmed the federal funding for Urannah Dam has been cancelled. I fought hard to deliver $483 million in federal funding to contribute to the construction of Urannah Dam and my Coalition colleagues like Andrew Willcox have been fierce advocates for Urannah and all water projects.
“Bowen River Utilities, who are overseeing the Urannah Dam project, have lodged a draft Environmental Impact Statement with the Queensland Government in June this year, so I am unsure of who is advising the Minister with the facts around this vital project. The Urannah Dam site is also 270km from the closest reef, and the dam wall will trap sediment and improve water quality in the downstream catchment.
“Mitigation measures in line with Reef 2050 and Burdekin Water Quality Improvement Plan have been applied in the Urannah project. A great deal of effort and adhering to environmental assessment and consideration has gone into the planning of the Urannah Dam to ensure that it ticks all the boxes,” Ms Landry said.
Federal Member for Dawson Andrew Willcox criticised the Government’s decision to deny the community the construction of Urannah Dam.
“Urannah Dam was the only dam that has been through Infrastructure Australia and has private equity partners ready to go,” Mr Willcox said.
“Urannah Dam ticks all the boxes, provides water for agriculture, tourism, mining, and urban use as well as pumped hydro which will put clean, green electricity directly into the north south grid.
“The UNESCO report is a political convenience for the Federal Labor Government who were never in support of the Urannah project and the many benefits it proposed to the community in central and north Queensland,” Mr Willcox said.