Traveston Dam project blocked by federal government

November 18, 2009

A huge community campaign in opposition to the construction of a new dam on the Mary River, north of Brisbane, ended last week with a victory for people power.

Federal environment minister Peter Garrett announced on November 11 that he would deny approval for the state government to build the dam.

Garrett said the best available scientific evidence and other material provided by his department revealed the dam could have "serious and irreversible effects" on endangered species.

"It's clear to me that the Traveston Dam cannot go ahead without unacceptable impacts on matters of national environment significance", he said.

"I've come to the view, after considering very closely all the relevant matters that I'm required to under the national environment legislation, including social and economic matters, that this dam in my view should not proceed."

Conservationists have long argued that the dam would threaten the survival of several rare and endangered species. These included the Mary River turtle, the Mary River cod and the Queensland lungfish.

The interim decision triggers a 10-day statutory consultation process.

Garrett will then announce a final decision on November 25.

However, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said she will accept the federal minister's decision.

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