Peter Garrett must reject Traveston Dam

October 25, 2009

Community and conservation groups fighting the controversial Mary River Traveston Crossing Dam proposal, near Gympie, have recently held a series of campaign strategy meetings. This followed the Queensland coordinator general's October 6 approval of the proposal, which attached 1200 conditions to the dam project.

Save the Mary River Coordinating Group president Glenda Pickersgill said the combined groups had identified "a long list of unproven and bureaucratic conditions that, rather than allay our environmental concerns, actually heighten them since many of our concerns have been ignored".

Several expert scientific assessments have indicated a risk of serious environmental impacts on World Heritage classified wetlands downstream of the Traveston Dam wall, but the latest official report said there would be "minimal downstream impacts".

President of the Greater Mary Association, Darryl Stewart, said residents downstream remained determined to stop the dam. His group collected more than 10,000 submissions to the dam's Environmental Impact Study.

Residents have lobbied state and federal politicians since 2006. Former state environment minister and member for Hervey Bay, Andrew McNamara, lost his seat this year partly over his support for the dam proposal.

With the release of more than 2300 pages of new documentation, the Mary River groups called on federal environment minister Peter Garrett to allow for a new round of public submissions before a final decision is made on November 18.

Pickersgill said: "Not only is Peter Garrett's environmental credibility at stake with this decision, it will be the real test of the success or failure of the federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, and approval would also seriously damage the Prime Minister's environmental credentials."

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