A dam short memory
ATTACKS by the federal Coalition and the LNP on environmentalists claiming their opposition to dams had worsened the impacts of flood events in Queensland were hypocritical given the party's own stand on the Traveston Dam.
President and water policy officer for the Wide Bay Burnett Environment Council, Roger Currie, took aim at claims made in a Coalition document leaked this week that outlined a $30 billion plan to construct dams across the country.
He is furious that the Coalition blames the "environmental lobby" for the lack of water infrastructure it says is required to flood proof Queensland.
"In 2007 the Coalition instigated a Senate inquiry into the proposed dam which looked at the potential impacts to threatened species in the Mary River such as the federally listed Queensland Lungfish, the Mary River Cod and Mary River Turtle,'' Mr Currie said.
"A number of high profile Coalition and Queensland LNP Senators and MP's vigorously campaigned against the proposed dam for four years including Nationals Leader Warren Truss, Ron Boswell, Ian McDonald, David Gibson, Qld Environment Minister Andrew Powell, Ted Sorensen and Barnaby Joyce who is now the deputy chair of the Coalition Taskforce which now claims that it is the fault of the 'environmental lobby' that new dams have not been approved," he said.
"Coalition politicians appear to have 'short memories' and blinkers on now, when it comes to dams, but they dumped Traveston Dam , faster than stale valentines day roses.''
Mr Currie, a passionate campaigner against the dam being built said the Queensland LNP and the federal Coalition had both provided public support for communities that were affected by the proposal.
"It ought to be noted that the 'environmental' opposition to this dam proposal paled in comparison to the opposition showed by communities and community groups who support the LNP/Coalition,'' he said.
Mr Currie is furious at claims made by Local Government, Community Recovery at Flood Resilience Minister David Crisafulli that "crazy green groups need to be held accountable for their anti-dam position".
"He seems to have forgotten, along with his federal colleagues, that it was in fact his own party that publicly opposed Queensland's most recent controversial dam proposal,'' he said.
"The LNP/Coalition should think twice before blaming the conservation sector for a lack of dams, when their party was so publicly opposed to Queensland's most recent proposed dam.
"The Coalition ought to remember that they engaged with us during the Traveston debacle and that they were happy to share in the celebration when the Traveston Dam was put to bed. Warren Truss spoke freely about his party's opposition to the dam at the No Dam celebration in Kandanga in December 2011 and MP for Gympie David Gibson publicly stated that 'we have won the war'."