Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dam Land

Years later, the proposed Traveston Dam has not been approved right down the line, yet land in the area is now owned by the Government. There are stressed and displaced people as a result and some lucky ones who could not resist deals offered below but what is all the land for if the dam does not go ahead? How can peoples' lives be uprooted for something that is not viable? On Oct 6th the Co-ordinator General approved Stage 1 but subjected its approval to 1200 conditions which must be met to mitigate social and environmental concerns. Stage 2 has not been approved. 1200 conditions at what cost I ask? Can taxpayers afford to meet the conditions? How expensive will the water be as a result? Is it feasible to meet the conditions? Would another site have far fewer conditions?

As for the land that has already been bought, here are some of the statements made back in August 2009:

"SUGGESTIONS of secret land dealings underlying the Traveston Crossing dam proposal ...........And dam opponents yesterday reacted angrily to criminal damage to anti-dam signs, including several on private property. Vandalism concerns coincided with land grab suggestions from anti-dam activists, who questioned why the government would spend so much public money, buying so much land, for a project that has not been approved, even by the Queensland Government." Source

"The paper (Courier Mail) broke the news that the government had paid $25.3 million for a 973ha Bollier Park cattle property, while leasing it back to its former owners for $20 a week. It is a deal typical of what has occurred throughout the dam area. CONCERNS by the Auditor General at low rentals on leaseback properties were a major part of the new information in yesterday's Brisbane front page. The article prompted renewed concern in other media, including the ABC, which has frequently been noted for its effective coverage locally and on Brisbane radio. Opposition Infrastructure spokesperson and Gympie MP David Gibson accused the government of wasting millions of taxpayers' dollars buying properties for a project which, as anti-dam activists have frequently said, has not yet been approved, even by the Queensland Co-ordinator General." Source: Aug 20th 2009

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