Second life for dam
Emu Swamp approval granted extension
THERE’S been some good news for Emu Swamp Dam advocates with the coordinator general extending vital approvals.
The decision went down to the wire on Tuesday, with a resolution announced with only hours remaining on the Environmental Impact Strategy approvals.
“The coordinator general has stated that it has been extended for six months with the possibility of a further extension if the proponent has the capability to progress the project,” a Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce spokesperson said. “The chamber’s proponent is Emu Swamp Dam Pty Ltd, a company that has been set up and is operating.
“(We’re) confident that ESD Pty Ltd will be able to progress the project to the satisfaction of the coordinator general.
“The chamber is excited by the opportunity for the Southern Downs to develop a critical irrigation project which has extensive benefits to the whole community,” they said. “The project contains 450ML of emergency urban water for Stanthorpe at no capital cost to rate payers,” the spokesperson said.
Southern Downs Regional Council still remain the proponent of the EIS, but now have the time and capacity to do away with the approvals. “Council will now seek to transfer or sell the approvals to another party that has the resources to meet the conditions of the approvals and the capacity to deliver the Emu Swamp Dam,” an SDRC spokesperson said.
Council applied for the extension back in June.
“(We) look forward to working with council towards transferring the approvals to an appropriate proponent to carry the project forward,” the chamber spokesperson said.
The chamber’s detailed business case for Emu Swamp Dam will be submitted to the state government next month and Emu Swamp Dam committee chair Stephen Tancred praised the decision.
“It’s really good news and it’s obvious there’s a lot of support in Brisbane, in the state government, for the Granite Belt, for the Chamber of Commerce, economic development and growth. “Now if the momentum could flow and council could very quickly start the disposal process for the approvals, and at low or no cost to the chamber, so we can progress economic development in the region,” Mr Tancred said.