WAITING GAME: Emu Swamp Dam project manager Lloyd Taylor said dam designs have been sent to the State Government. But they're still in limbo over relevant approvals.
WAITING GAME: Emu Swamp Dam project manager Lloyd Taylor said dam designs have been sent to the State Government. But they're still in limbo over relevant approvals. Liana Walker

Lapse date in sight for dam approvals

THE clock is ticking on the Emu Swamp Dam project with vital approvals set to lapse a week from today.

On September 29, 2014, the Emu Swamp Dam project was approved by the then Coordinator-General. That approval, along with an Environmental Impact Statement, will run out on October 2.

The approvals belong to Southern Downs Regional Council. The Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce is the proponent of the detailed business case for Emu Swamp Dam, but without the approvals the project will be stifled.

Council has confirmed they submitted a request to have the approvals extended back in June.

Member for Southern Downs James Lister questioned the Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick MP, as to when a decision could be made on extending the EIS approvals.

"The Palaszczuk Government supports the independent Coordinator-General's exercise of powers delegated to him under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971.

"The Coordinator-General advises that he is considering the application to state a later date for the Coordinator-General's evaluation report to lapse, and will make a decision by October 2, 2018,” Mr Dick said.

Mr Lister said he's hopeful the State Government will extend the existing approvals. "The detailed business case study is well on its way to completion, with submissions to be made to the state government by November this year,” he said.

"(The dam) has the support of the Queensland Farmers' Federation, Queensland apple and pear growers, the Stanthorpe Community Reference Panel and the National Irrigator's Council. "The environmental impact statement has been around for some time. Because of delays in organising a detailed business case, that will expire on October 2. I believe the government is looking at renewing that. "I urge them to do so and to assist the Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce in obtaining a transfer of that document in order that they can continue.

"The Minister for Local Government (Stirling Hinchliffe) will be visiting Stanthorpe on the 26th of this month (September). I urge him to meet with the proponents of the dam to learn ...what we are up to.”

Emu Swamp Dam project manager Lloyd Taylor confirmed dam designs were submitted to the State Government last week.

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