Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Queenslanders should be aware, water wise in fact!

Hansard, yesterday 25 November 2008 - have a search through for these words:

Traveston Dam
(first mentioned on page 3646) a taste of page 3646...

(Ms Bligh) While no decision has yet been made, the Coordinator-General has formally advised Queensland Water Infrastructure that he believes a number of mitigation measures are required to minimise the impact on flora and fauna prior to the construction of the dam. All major projects disturb their environment and require rehabilitation work after the construction is complete. As a general rule, mitigation and rehabilitation is undertaken after the construction of a major project. However, the Coordinator-General met with me on 13 November and advised that should he approve the project it would need to include these measures and without these measures the project was unlikely to receive federal government approval. In response, the Coordinator-General has provided this recommendation to Queensland Water Infrastructure and we have now received formal advice from the CEO of
Queensland Water Infrastructure that this work can be undertaken but that it will delay the construction of the Traveston Crossing Dam.

Initiatives such as rehabilitating riparian habitats will take time. For example, Queensland Water Infrastructure has already indicated previously that approximately two years is required after the establishment to ensure at least 90 per cent of any planted seedlings survive. It has also noted that approximately five years is required after planting to ensure the habitat is suitable for fauna. As a result, QWI has indicated it will urgently consider the advice from the Coordinator-General and advise us of new time frames for the construction and completion of the dam. However, it is expected that developing and proving the effectiveness of the measures will result in a delay in construction of at least several years.

While I am obviously disappointed in this delay, this is a statutory and independent approval process in which I cannot and will not intervene. I do, however, reiterate that the government remains committed to the Traveston Crossing Dam and we will do everything in our power to see it built. It is a good site for a dam. With the recent rain, Traveston Crossing would be full and overflowing again for the ninth time in six years.

Opposition members interjected.

Ms BLIGH: I reiterate: with the recent rain, Traveston Crossing would be full and overflowing again for the ninth time in six years. The recommendations of the Coordinator-General are designed to protect vulnerable species and to give the dam the best chance of gaining federal approval. If delaying by a couple of years improves the chances of getting this dam approved then that is a step that we will take. By following the course of action that I have spelt out, it is clear that we will have a much better chance of getting the project approved by both the Coordinator-General and the federal government.

The necessary work to riparian areas will involve and require further discussion and consultation, particularly with rural landholders. Riparian zones are obviously on the creeks and they will need some work. There will need to be some further consultation to ensure that the damage that is currently happening to fauna in this area can be arrested and stopped in order to allow the dam to go ahead.

Obviously a delay in the construction of the Traveston Crossing Dam has implications for the entire water grid. Over the past few weeks, like others in this House I have been listening to the views and the concerns of people in south-east Queensland about purified recycled water. It is clear that people believe that recycled water is a good insurance policy in the event that our dams plummet to low levels. But it is equally clear that people are uneasy about recycled water as a constant part of our water supply system.

I have been listening to these concerns over the past few weeks against the backdrop of a possible delay in the Traveston Crossing Dam. The government has an overriding responsibility to ensure that we have the water we need. But we also have a responsibility to ensure that people have confidence in our water supply. Here in south-east Queensland we have successfully and dramatically cut our water use. We did this by working together—by making sure that people understood the need to
change and helping them to make the changes that were necessary. We need to keep that community goodwill and we need to keep building on that partnership.

Many things have changed since January 2007 when we announced that, with dams at perilously low levels, we had no choice but to cancel the proposed referendum on purified recycled water and push ahead with every available water source. First, we have dramatically cut our water use from approximately 180 litres a day per person to approximately 140 litres per person per day and we have maintained that over a very long period of time.

Secondly, as we have all seen dramatically in the last few weeks, it has rained. In January 2007 combined dam levels were at 22 per cent; now they are at just more than 45 per cent. Thirdly, of course, our water grid has become a reality. More than 400 kilometres of pipeline has been laid connecting our water resources and water storage areas, allowing us to move water around. Our desalination plant is complete and I look forward to being at the ‘desal day’ on Sunday on the Gold Coast. Wyaralong Dam has been approved and construction is about to start, and purified recycled water is supplying our major power stations and has been for some time.

In light of all those changes and confirmation yesterday of a delay in the Traveston Crossing Dam, today I will ask the Queensland Water Commission to provide urgent advice on whether the 40 per cent trigger that it identified in January 2007 for the introduction of purified recycled water is still sound. We set out to drought proof south-east Queensland and it is clear that we are well on the way to achieving that. Our water grid is well on the way to being finalised. The people of south-east
Queensland deserve the benefit of that water grid and they deserve the benefit of the rain that we have experienced. We can now source water from every possible available source and we will use it wisely and carefully. The Queensland Water Commission will provide urgent advice. I look forward to advising the House of that advice as soon as possible.

Recycled Water

Just see what is being avoided by Bligh

Don't expect any solutions or answers from the opposition, they're useless. They're against Traveston, and say they'll kill it if they get in (if it's not dead already), they'll kill the recycled water. How exactly do these genii plan to solve the water problem?

It all seems to have come to a head since the wild storms and flooding of a week ago.

A quick poll on the radio thismorning was surprising the host. Many people said "Use recycled water, now!", many more than said no.

What happened to the Wolfdene dam?

Instead of faffing around with this some more I think they should get their shit together and build a bloody dam.

*****In December I'll be on a tour of a Gold Coast dam. I'll try and get some pix and info and show you what I see!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bligh's a liar. Using PC talk and vulnerable flora and fauna as an excuse not to proceed with Traveston, while keeping a straight face is an exceptional talent. But as you say, the opposition is so incompetent they'll continue to get away with this and more. Mehaul