The National Farmers Federation, the World Wildlife Foundation, and The Greens have all damned the proposal as unviable and backwards looking. The considerations encompass many of the same issues that appear to have successfully scuttled the plan to dam the Mary River. A report prepared for 9 Queensland mayors affected by the Traveston Crossing dam, identifies rainwater tanks and local water recycling solutions as the most cost effective way to address South East Queensland’s water issues. “With the [implementation] of these demand side options, there is no need for … additional supply infrastructure.” The report concluded that managing water better would cost less than half building a new dam and the requisite piping, as well as creating far less greenhouse gases and social impact.
“Turnbull has thrown a grenade into this community and walked away,” Bennett told the Ebono Institute.
“If this is an example of how the Federal Government plans to use its proposed water powers, then State Governments should back right off and protect the constitutional rights of their constituents.” Bennett noted that it is supposed to require a referendum to change the constitutional arrangements about State and Federal Powers.
Sources close to the NSW Department of Primary Industry believe that the government knows that the dam is economically unviable, but the proposal will win votes in South East Queensland and put the Labor State governments of NSW and Queensland in the awkward position of having to explain why the dam is impossible to build.
Residents can make submissions to the Traveston Dam Senate Committee through the Secretary of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, known as RRAT for short. Documents should be sent as email attachments to email@example.com. Current submissions and information about the enquiry can be found at The Australian Parliament House website under Senate, Committees, RRAT. http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/rrat_ctte/
The committee is meeting now but submissions will be processed until the end of the week. Earlier submissions will receive preferential treatment.