Sec­ond life for dam

Emu Swamp ap­proval granted ex­ten­sion

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS - Matthew Pur­cell Matthew.Pur­cell@bor­der­

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.

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