Fea­si­bil­ity study still wait­ing to be signed

Uran­nah Dam faces de­lays

Daily Mercury - - NEWS - Luke Mor­timer luke.mor­timer@dai­ly­mer­cury.com.au

IT’S been al­most a year since the State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced it would spend $3 mil­lion on a fea­si­bil­ity study into the Uran­nah Dam, but so far noth­ing has been de­liv­ered.

Ini­tia­tive Cap­i­tal, Bowen Collinsville En­ter­prises (BCE) and Uran­nah Prop­er­ties As­so­ci­a­tion were to use the money to plan for the dam, 90km west of Mackay.

But on Fri­day, BCE chair­man Paul McLaugh­lin re­leased a state­ment, with the back­ing of the Queens­land LNP con­cerned it was close to a year on and there was no agree­ment to even start the study.

Paul McLaugh­lin said BEC had been try­ing to get the ini­tial stages of the project off the ground for the past year.

“It seems like ev­ery time we take a step for­ward, we end up two steps back,” Mr McLaugh­lin said. “I thought it would be straight for­ward from here as it is fed­eral money, and we have an agree­ment in place and full fed­eral sup­port.”

De­spite the ob­vi­ous de­lays, Queens­land Trea­surer Cur­tis Pitt, who’s act­ing as En­ergy, Bio­fu­els and Water Sup­ply Min­is­ter, said the State Gov­ern­ment was still com­mit­ted to the fea­si­bil­ity study.

Mr Pitt said “the LNP is only mak­ing mis­chief and mis­lead­ing the peo­ple of Bowen”. “The Depart­ment of En­ergy and Water Sup­ply has been at­tempt­ing to bro­ker an agree­ment be­tween the par­ties, how­ever, that has not yet been fi­nalised.”

In Oc­to­ber 2016, the then Queens­land Water Sup­ply Min­is­ter Mark Bai­ley was in Mackay to an­nounce the $3 mil­lion spend as part of $15 mil­lion spend to kick­start 15 water projects around Queens­land.

Mr Bai­ley said at the time that the money was be­ing pro­vided be­cause, the 100% Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment Na­tional Water In­fra­struc­ture Devel­op­ment Fund, was only re­im­bursed when it was spent.

Mem­ber for Whit­sun­day Ja­son Costi­gan has ques­tioned the need for a fea­si­bil­ity study at all say­ing it’s been done and “peo­ple are jack of the stud­ies”.

“Peo­ple from Snowy Hy­dro, you reckon they’re dumba**es? They did work on the vi­a­bil­ity of the Uran­nah Dam con­cept decades ago,” he said.

❝ If I had my way I’d ac­tu­ally send the bull­doz­ers in to­mor­row. — MP Ja­son Costi­gan

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