16 August 2007 - Today's Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport majority report into water supply options for South East Queensland produced recommendations that don't go far enough, with only the additional comments by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert applying the evidence before the Inquiry and recommending that the Traveston Dam be scrapped.
"The Senate inquiry was presented with overwhelming evidence that Traveston Dam is a high-cost, high-risk approach to South East Queensland's water supply, which will not ease the current drought" said Australian Greens lead Senate candidate for Queensland, Larissa Waters.
"Yet the majority report and the additional comments by other Senators all stopped short of calling for the dam to be scrapped. Greens Senator Rachel Siewert made a call on the evidence and recommended that Traveston Dam should be stopped.
"The Greens have decried this foolish proposal since it was proposed. I have consistently said, and the evidence to the Senate Inquiry demonstrates, that Traveston dam is the most expensive, least reliable and most environmentally destructive water supply option for our region.
"It is not environmentally, socially or economically sustainable and it will do nothing to solve the short term water crisis.
"The reduced rainfall expected because of climate change means the dam is unlikely to retain much water, and 30% of what little water it would ever hold would evaporate given the mere 6 metre depth of the proposed dam.
"If we are to get serious about sustainable water supply for South East Queensland, we must do two things:
- invest in demand and supply management, rainwater tanks, water recycling, stormwater harvesting, evaporation reduction and water efficiency, and
- ensure that #population" id="population">population growth in our region is sustainable. We should refuse to grant new development approvals unless the proponent can demonstrate that the necessary water is available and that planning processes address sustainable water supplies" said Ms Waters.
The Greens water supply solutions put to Queenslanders in the 2006 state election have now been backed by a February 2007 report by consultants Cardno, which found that with a combination of groundwater abstraction, source renewal, desalination, indirect potable re-use and demand management, Traveston Dam is not necessary to ensure South East Queensland's water security.
For more information:
Australian Greens Lead Senate Candidate for Queensland
larissa waters|AT|qld greens org au