DAM CONCERNS: Robert Simcocks does not believe Emu Swamp Dam is the best option for our region's water.
DAM CONCERNS: Robert Simcocks does not believe Emu Swamp Dam is the best option for our region's water. Amy Kadel

WATER group slams proposed dam

A NEW community group has claimed the proposed Emu Swamp Dam would be damaging to the region.

Water Action Team Empowering Rate Payers (WATER) Granite Belt has formed to share its view that the dam is not the solution to water supply issues.

WATER spokesman and affected landowner Robert Simcocks said the group believed the dam would hurt ratepayer pockets.

"They say it will be good for the district, but... if the rates keep going up because of the dam and they already have... if they keep going up it will threaten the very fabric of the community and we can't afford for that to happen,” he said.

Mr Simcocks believes there are alternatives to fixing the water supply issues, which have been outlined in a report he has compiled and sent to the council.

Some of his suggestions included building a pipeline from Connolly Dam, implementing the Petrie Crossing Weir and off stream storage of that located at Diamondvale.

Southern Downs Councillor Vic Pennisi, who has been an advocate for the building of Emu Swamp Dam, said he believed the dam project should continue.

"Water will control the colonies in the future, which is why it is so important to all rural communities,” Cr Pennisi said.

"This project has been controlled by process and the government has committed a considerable amount of money to take the project to the next level and in my view, that's what we need to do.”

The council's CEO, David Keenan, said they had received the report.

Mr Keenan said the report would be discussed at the next council meeting and considered once funding had been finalised.

"Mr Simcocks' reports will be considered by council's yet-to-be-appointed consultants or contractors, once the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund funding agreement between the Federal Government, State Government and Southern Downs Regional Council is finalised,” he said.

An information evening on Emu Swamp Dam is being held by the Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce on Monday, August 29, at Summit Estate Wines from 5.30pm.

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