The proposed Fitzroy Gap dam is not the priority for Central Queensland, Senator Matt Canavan said today.
"Dreaming is nice but doing is better.
“It is great to see people getting behind projects in Central Queensland but the proposed Fitzroy Gap dam would not be built for decades, if at all. I want to see a project that can be completed within a decade. Fitzroy Gap is not the priority for Central Queensland.
“Central Queensland needs jobs and investment soon, given the downturn in the mining sector.
“There are worthwhile projects right now, like Connors River Dam and Nathan Dam, that have customers, environmental approvals and State Government backing.
“They stack up, whereas Fitzroy Gap doesn’t at the moment. It needs a lot more work done.
“There are some extremely capable people that work on water projects in State Government. Some of these people are refugees from the days where public works departments actually built dams.
“The only prudent path is to heed their advice when we are considering spending billions of taxpayers’ dollars on a major project.
“Fitzroy Gap would inundate huge amounts of productive farming country. No discussions have even started with affected landowners and farmers. In contrast, the State Government has already bought the land for the Connors River Dam.
“All dams have an environmental impact and their potential impact must be carefully assessed. Connors River Dam has already achieved State and federal environmental approval, and Nathan Dam has an environmental impact statement out for consultation now. It is expected to be approved within a year.
“With a State election coming up, there are funds on the table for Government investment thanks to the leasing of State assets. The Federal Government has also committed to building dams through its Northern Australian agenda.
“This is a unique opportunity to obtain investment but our Central Queensland case will be stronger the more united we are about a few key projects.
“We need to unite behind those projects we can do today."