What has tempted me to repeat this theme is yesterdays rejection of the proposed Traveston Dam by our Federal Governments Minister for the Environment, Mr Peter Garrett (who until recently was known only as the raucous lead singer for the rock group Midnight Oil) the decision was based on the possible danger to the habitat of a little know fish and turtle that currently make their home in the section of the Mary River which was to be dammed (BTW, nobody I have spoken to has ever seen the "lungfish" which is threatened).
Now I am a nature lover and as anyone who has read this blog for any length of time will know, I am very enamored with all things Australian whether they be animal, vegetable or mineral, this includes people and brings me to the point of this post.
The Mary River has historically flooded every 2 or 3 years causing a lot of very expensive damage to the town of Gympie where I live, this flooding has caused the "Mary Valley" to become a quite fertile area, home to many farmers who have already had their land resumed by the Queensland Government in preparation to building the dam.
This process has been going on for almost three years now and what with the cost of land resumptions, environment studies, engineering work to establish the viability of the project has already cost the government (read taxpayers) many millions of dollars, and has caused hardship for a lot of people who have been subjected to a need to relocate.
This post is not so much about whether the dam was good or bad, there is a line of thought that it was to be too shallow over much of its area thus allowing excessive evaporation in our hot climate, as a balance to that theory the beauty and recreational value would have been considerable, but the real issue here is the need for more water storage for the Sunshine coast and Brisbane areas, both of which struggle to maintain adequate water supply in the not infrequent dry years we have here.
This struggle is with the current population level of some 4 million people and it is one of the fastest growing population areas in the country so when we project forward just a few short years to a population of over 5 million the existing water storage will not cope, more water is needed!!!
The decision to ban the dam has met with delight from the many opponents the proposed dam had attracted, now I'm not going to pretend that had I been directly affected by the dam I wouldn't have been opposed to it too, but surely the greater good for the greater number should be what we look at.
The first reaction from the Queensland Government (lets hope its not just a knee-jerk reaction) was to announce another desalination plant on the Sunshine coast, these plants are expensive to build and to maintain, as opposed to a dam, where after the initial cost there is minimal cost for maintenance, the fact remains that we have a desperate need for more water in most cities and towns throughout Australia and it is the responsibility of this generation to provide the facilities needed for the future.
End of Rant???