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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier of Queensland
    The Honourable Peter Beattie


    Premier of Queensland
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006


    The State Government has unveiled plans for a staged construction of Traveston Dam cutting the initial inundation area by more than half and saving hundreds of homes as well as key infrastructure such as schools, railways and roads from relocation.

    Premier Peter Beattie said the three stage process would ensure yield targets required to meet the water needs of population growth in south east Queensland by 2050 are met.

    The first stage to be completed by the end of 2011 would cost up to $1.7 billion and involve the construction of an 180,000 megalitre dam delivering up to 70,000 megalitres per annum.

    The second stage will involve the $250 million raising of the Borumba Dam by 2025 to deliver an extra 40,000 megalitres per annum when operated in conjunction with the operation of stage one of Traveston.

    The third stage would involve the completion of Traveston in 2035 to deliver an extra 40,000 megalitres per annum, however, the need for this stage will be assessed dependent on climatic factors, population growth and usage patterns.

    “I know that many in the local community would prefer that the dam didn’t go ahead at all but a new storage capacity is essential if we are to have enough water for the extra million people expected to live in this region over the next twenty years,” Mr Beattie said.

    “When all the factors such as potential yield; cost effectiveness; environmental, cultural and social impact; strategic value; and reliability of the sources are taken into account this is simply the best catchment area available.

    “However our decision to proceed with this site has caused considerable anger and grief in the communities that will be affected by its construction.

    “We are aware of this and we have listened.

    “We have endeavoured to develop a plan that delivers greater certainty and accommodates some of the major concerns that been raised by affected communities.”

    Mr Beattie said the dam wall at the first stage would be constructed at full height with a concrete spillway and earth/rockfill embankments.

    “However it would only operate at an elevation of 71 metres which will more than halve the land area required for the dam – from 7,600 hectares down to 2,900 hectares,” he said

    “It will reduce the estimated number of properties that need to be acquired from approximately 1000 down to less than 500.

    “In addition we will be able to better manage over time, if the third stage is needed, the relocation of major infrastructure such as sections of the Bruce Highway, the Mary Valley railway, roads and schools.”

    Mr Beattie said to help meet the regional yield targets required for population growth by 2050 the second stage would involve raising Borumba Dam on Yabba Creek near Imbil.

    “By 2025 we will spend an estimated $250 million to raise Borumba Dam by about 30 metres to a 350,000 megalitre capacity, providing an additional system yield of up to 40,000 megalitres per annum,” he said.

    “In addition we will continue to plan and acquire the land required to commence the third stage of the Traveston Dam by around 2035. If this stage is required the dam will operate at an elevation level of 79.5 metres.”

    Mr Beattie said the Government would now begin a formal consultation process with the local landholders to purchase properties required for the first stage of the dam.

    “We will undertake a fair and reasonable compensation process,” Mr Beattie said.

    “In addition, once the sale process for these properties is completed we will allow the former landholders to remain on the property at heavily concessional rents until the dam is completed in five years time.

    “This will involve leasing back the property at either a set rate of 3% of the unimproved capital value, or $1,000 per annum, whichever is lower.

    “We will also continue to ‘stand in the market’ to buy properties that may be required if the second stage proceeds. This is simply good planning.

    “If current landholders potentially affected by this second stage do decide to sell their properties to us we will also allow them to stay on the properties for twenty years or potentially longer until the second stage is needed.

    “Over this period we will negotiate with them a generous leaseback arrangement set at 25% of the assessed market rental/lease rate in recognition of the unique circumstances of this dam.

    “This will allow them to reinvest their sale proceeds more freely and give them greater certainty and time to map out future plans for relocation of their home, work or business.

    “All affected residents will receive detailed written information on the lease-back proposal in coming days.”

    Mr Beattie said a new high level taskforce would be established to review lifestyle employment and business options for the affected region.

    “Our goal is to help restructure the local economy, where needed to take advantage of the new opportunities presented by the dam in the medium to long term,” he said.

    “The Taskforce will be led by the Coordinator General and include representatives from a range of government agencies including State Development, Employment and Training and Communities.

    “The taskforce will work closely with local governments, community leaders, stakeholders and other government departments to develop and implement a medium and long term plan to ensure community sustainability.”

    The Minister for Water Henry Palaszczuk, said all affected landowners under stage one, including those who have already lodged applications to sell, will be contacted by the Department of Natural Resources to advise them of the impact of the decision on their land.

    “I realise this is a very difficult time and we will have extra staff in the region over coming weeks to help process people’s enquiries and concerns.

    “In addition an independent counselling service is operating for landowners and community members affected by the decision and this service will be available by contacting 1300 667 791.

    “Further information on the on the process will also be available on or on a dedicated hotline 1800 243 585.”

    Media inquiries: (07) 3224 4500