Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Potential new dams in the North

The federal Opposition says it is preparing a list of potential new dam sites to take to the next federal election with major opportunities in the country's north.
The chair of its dams and water management taskforce, Andrew Robb, is in the Kimberley this week looking at proposals such as a dam on the Margaret River near Fitzroy Crossing.
Mr Robb says it has "magnificent potential".
He says previous water taskforces have failed to realise the true opportunities in northern Australia.
"For instance, the Northern Land and Water Taskforce, originally commissioned by the Howard Government, was hijacked, the membership was replaced and I think they were under instruction to reach an outcome," he said.
"To say that across the whole north there's not one opportunity for one dam anywhere, small, medium or large, just beggars belief but yet that was the conclusion."
The former chair of Labor's Northern Land and Water taskforce, Joe Ross, told the ABC in September that there is little scientific evidence to support further dams in northern Australia.
"Looking at the history and the evidence so far, such as the dam on the Ord River, it's still being paid for by taxpayers dollars," he said.
"I think the damming of any freshwater system in northern Australia has to be proven that's it's going to be viable economically, environmentally and that it doesn't impact on the cultural integrity of the region.
"If the coalition can come up with an answer that fills all of those three values that our Australian community holds, then let them put a dam on the Margaret River."

The West

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