Senator Matthew Canavan has welcomed the announcement of a National Water Infrastructure Roundtable later this month to help speed construction of new dams.
“There’s no shortage of good sites for dams in Queensland, and a number already have their environmental approvals and could be proceeded with at short notice,” Senator Canavan said.
“New dams are sorely needed for agriculture, mining and town water supply. They will boost the economy and create new jobs.
“The big question is how we are going to pay for them. So, I am pleased to see this roundtable will bring together investors, representatives of irrigators, mining and power industries, financiers, state and territory governments, local governments and construction companies.
“Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce wants them to work through barriers to investment and look at options to get good projects moving. There are certainly some good projects ready to go in Queensland.”
Senator Canavan said he had inspected dam sites in Central Queensland last week – including the site of the proposed Connors River Dam on the Fitzroy system – and yesterday inspected the site of the proposed Emu Swamp Dam near Stanthorpe. In early November, he would looks at areas proposed for new water storage projects in north-west Queensland.
“If we are going to pay back Australia’s debt, we need to invest in infrastructure projects that will produce wealth in the future. Storing water is like putting money in the bank.
“Dams will boost Australia’s income by facilitating expanded agriculture and mining projects and by allowing growth in our cities and towns. It’s essential – as Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on the weekend – that Australia gets over its ‘dam phobia’ and starts building major new water storages.”