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Greens welcome Rudd family calls to stop Traveston Dam

Media Release - 22 November 2007

Today’s reports of Kevin Rudd’s own family decrying his silence on the proposed Mary River dam are sentiments shared by many Queenslanders, who deserve to know what Labor’s position on the dam is before voting on Saturday, said the Greens today.

“Kevin Rudd owes it to Queenslanders to make his position clear on the Mary River dam before Saturday’s poll,” said Greens lead Senate candidate for Queensland, Larissa Waters.

“Would a Rudd government approve the dam based on the hasty EIS that ignores the impacts of climate change and admits uncertainty on the future of endangered species? Or would Kevin Rudd stick up for Australia’s special wildlife and the Mary Valley community?” asked Ms Waters.

“If Labor’s answer is another rubber stamp like we saw on the pulp mill, The Greens will be the only party for Queenslanders to support to save the Mary.

“The Greens call on both the Queensland and federal governments to apply the precautionary principle and refuse to approve this environmentally, socially and economically destructive dam.

“The state Labor government has tried to keep the Mary River dam off the radar until after the federal election, by releasing an 1800 page EIS open for public comment until one week after polling day,” said Ms Waters.

The EIS, released on 18 October 2007, fails to properly address the key issues of alternatives, the impacts of climate change on rainfall and the survival of the lungfish.

“Despite these gaping uncertainties, the EIS alarmingly recommends the dam proceed, subject to a raft of further plans and measures.

“The EIS puts the cart well before the horse to recommend the dam go ahead when its full impacts are not known.

“This dam is a cruel hoax. It won’t solve the water crisis but it will destroy good quality farm land, send ancient species like the lungfish, Mary River Cod and turtle towards extinction, impact on the Great Sandy Strait downstream, displace hundreds of families and waste nearly $2 billion of taxpayer’s money that could be better spent on providing tanks for every South East Queensland home,” concluded Ms Waters.

For more information contact:
Larissa Waters

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So Kevin Rudd's uncle is blaming him for not stopping the Traveston Dam on the Mary River? (The Australian, 22/11/07) Firstly, that's a state issue and the only way Mr Rudd could stop it is if he were the current Federal Environment Minister using his powers under the Environmental Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act.

At this point, the only Party that could stop the Traveston Dam is the Liberal/National Coalition, as they are the ones in power. Unfortunately, it is Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Environment and Water, who is now in
charge of protecting the environment. It is not likely that he will do that given the desperation for water.

More importantly, it's the Howard/Costello Coalition government who caused the need for the dam, both by ignoring the warnings about climate change for the past 11 years and by increasing the number of people in Australia with their baby bonuses and high immigration program (which they have doubled since the Hawke/Keating years).

If we want a sustainable society in Australia we must put pressure on our leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide subsidies for renewable energy, build a new economy based on genuine sustainability and stabilise population at a level our continent, with one of the lowest carrying capacities in the world, can support.

Hopefully if Rudd gets in he will be able to do something about the Traveston Dam and all the other devastation caused by the pro-growth-at-any-cost policies of the Howard government.