Feds to look at Tully hy­dro

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT tony. raggatt@ news. com. au

A NORTH Queens­land MP has called for the res­ur­rec­tion of the large Tully Mill­stream hy­dro- elec­tric­ity project, and a fed­eral min­is­ter has agreed to con­sider the pro­posal.

Hinch­in­brook LNP MP An­drew Cripps has writ­ten to Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Barn­aby Joyce and North­ern Aus­tralia Min­is­ter Matt Cana­van seek­ing sup­port for an up­dated fea­si­bil­ity study into the 600MW project, which could power 175,000 homes and cut car­bon emis­sions by more than one mil­lion tonnes a year.

Mr Cripps said the time was right to re­vive the project given the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s sup­port for north­ern Aus­tralia and a $ 2 bil­lion ex­pan­sion of the Snowy Moun­tains hy­dro scheme. Also, he said the en­vi­ron­men­tal de­bate had shifted to re­duc­ing emis­sions and to re­new­able en­ergy.

The Snowy Moun­tains En­gi­neer­ing Cor­po­ra­tion un­der­took de­tailed work on the Tully Mill­stream scheme but it was aban­doned in the late 1980s with the dec­la­ra­tion of the Wet Trop­ics World Her­itage Area.

About 4300ha of land north­west of Tully would need to be in­un­dated for wa­ter stor­age, of which Mr Cripps said 1290ha was within the World Her­itage Area. He said there needed to be a “trade off” for the loss of this area to en­able the project to pro­ceed.

“As a North Queens­lan­der and a North Queens­land MP, I have waited a long time for the pol­icy agenda to suit a se­ri­ous pro­posal to re­vive the Tully Mill­stream Hy­dro- elec­tric Scheme,” he said.

“I be­lieve that time is now. An­other gen­er­a­tion of North Queens­lan­ders should not be de­nied the op­por­tu­nity to ben­e­fit from this ma­jor piece of eco­nomic in­fra­struc­ture.

“Ever since the dec­la­ra­tion of the Wet Trop­ics World Her­itage Area de­railed the TMHS, there has been a deep and sus­tained level of re­sent­ment in North Queens­land that the re­gion was robbed of a ma­jor piece of eco­nomic in­fra­struc­ture and the ben­e­fits that would have flowed from it.”

Sen­a­tor Cana­van said he was “happy to con­sider” fund­ing an up­dated study as an op­tion un­der the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment fund.

“If it could be some­thing for an en­ergy and wa­ter need, that’s fan­tas­tic,” he said.

Sen­a­tor Cana­van said North Queens­land needed elec­tric­ity sys­tem sta­bil­ity, par­tic­u­larly with the devel­op­ment of re­new­able projects.

“We need a bal­ance. Coal­fired power would do that but so would a large hy­dro tur­bine as well,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.