Hinting at help for Emu Swamp Dam
THOUGH not willing to say if the State Government will cough up funds to build Emu Swamp Dam, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has admitted the finalisation of the Strong Choices plan would create spare dollars.
"While the dam's delivery is ultimately up to the proponent, Southern Downs Regional Council, we have said we want to be able to invest in the infrastructure the state needs for its future," said Mr Seeney, who is also the Minister for State Development and Infrastructure.
"We have finalised the Strong Choices plan which will be put to the people of Queensland at the next state election," he said.
The Emu Swamp Dam project is estimated to create more than 140 jobs during construction.
Mr Seeney said the dam was exactly what the Granite Belt needed to secure its water supply.
"The Emu Swamp Dam provides a great opportunity for the Southern Downs as it will dramatically improve the reliability of urban water supply and provide expansion opportunities for the region's important agricultural sector," he said.
"Stanthorpe's current water supply of Storm King Dam cannot meet the community's current needs."
Mr Seeney said the co-ordinator general's report, which approved the project, demonstrated the dam could meet the region's needs.
"This will provide greater water security to the residents of Stanthorpe and will provide certainty and additional opportunities for the region's agricultural sector to expand and invest," he said.
Mr Seeney said some residents would be directly impacted by the project.
"I understand that about 30 properties could be impacted if the dam and its pipelines are built and I sympathise with landholders' concerns," he said.
" Large infrastructure projects like this always have impacts on certain individuals.
"However the co-ordinator-general's evaluation report found that in this instance, the project's benefits in providing a reliable water supply for Stanthorpe outweighed its potential impacts."
Did you know?
Southern Downs Regional Council commissioned studies in 2010 that analysed alternative options to the proposed Emu Swamp Dam project. Other options considered were ruled out by the proponent because of a range of factors including yield, costs and environmental impacts.