News

Revealed: How Rudd helped to stop Mary River dam

Horses crossing the Mary River
Horses crossing the Mary River

SECRET intervention by Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister saved the Mary Valley from the Traveston Crossing dam, it was revealed yesterday.

In an exclusive interview, the ex-PM's cousin, Mary Valley grazier Chris De Vere told The Gympie Times: "Without Kevin Rudd, there would now be a dam in the Mary Valley.

"Garrett made the announcement, but Rudd made the decision," he said, referring to the 2009 anti-dam ruling by then federal environment minister Peter Garrett.

Even in Opposition, Rudd took an interest in the dam, he said.

"He sent Albanese into the area in secret to have a look for him," Mr De Vere said.

All this was during the last weeks of John Howard's prime ministership, when Anthony Albanese was shadow minister for infrastructure and water.

By Christmas in 2007, Howard and the Liberal-led coalition had been ousted and replaced by the Rudd administration, which included Garrett as Environment Minister and Albanese running Infrastructure.

The Traveston Crossing dam had been announced the previous year by then Queensland premier Peter Beattie, but needed federal environmental approval.

By 2009, Anna Bligh was running the state and seemed even more determined than Beattie on the issue.

That ceased on November 11, when Garrett made his announcement in Brisbane.

"Rudd was in Afghanistan visiting the troops at the time," Mr De Vere revealed.

"Anna Bligh was trying to ring him and couldn't get through because he was in a war zone. She was livid.

"People in the Mary Valley dismiss him because he was Labor. But they shouldn't, because he saved them.

"The old man had a pretty big role in it too," he said, referring to his father, Kevin De Vere, Rudd's uncle and former Widgee Shire chairman, the man after whom Kevin Rudd was named.

Kev De Vere said yesterday he thought his famous nephew had done the right thing by retiring.

"Labor's going to be in the doldrums for a long time and he had achieved everything he could.

"We both did 15 years and no parole," he said, referring to his time on the former Widgee Shire Council, which surrounded Gympie City and governed much of the rural country from Imbil to Rainbow Beach.

"He never had it easy. His father died when he was a child and he had heart trouble.

"It's time he started to enjoy a bit of life. They won't be broke."

Mr De Vere said he had kept in touch with Mr Rudd's sister in Nambour but in politics, his namesake had had "a lot on his plate for 15 years".

Rudd, a De Vere on his mother's side, had close family ties to the Sunshine Coast and Gympie region.

Along with former ally and subsequent arch enemy Wayne Swan, he went to Nambour State High School and always maintained an affinity with this part of the world.

"He's bought a house at Noosa so he'll be around.

"I'll definitely see him soon," Kevin De Vere said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  anthony albanese dam editors picks kevin rudd mary valley traveston crossing dam



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

New law spells major shake-up for dog owners, pet shops

Got a frisky dog? You need to read this.

Early whale spot has Bay operators excited for season

A WHALE OF A TIME: Whale watching photo in Hervey Bay taken by Blue Marine Dolphin Tours created a huge buzz after it was posted on Facebook by Tourism Australia

"It's always welcoming to hear about the first whales.”

Fruit and Veg winners from the Gympie Show

Champion of the Fruit and Veg section.

Did you or someone you know enter the Gympie Show.

Local Partners

Gladstone's MasterChef hero blown away by support

CRANE driver Pete Morgan has been bowled over by the support he has received since making his TV debut on MasterChef.

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Is this the talent you get when you limit electronics?

Cassidy Kilburn in the Get the Beat International Dance Competition.

Cassidy, 11, preparing for national dance championships

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!