QUEENSLAND Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce says the failed Traveston Dam project, of which he was a fierce opponent, could have saved Gympie from the four floods it has endured in the past year.
Asked by Andrew Bolt on The Bolt Report if the dam would have stopped Gympie from flooding, Senator Joyce said: "Um, I agree that that dam would have".
But he maintained the proposed dam site was "just ridiculous".
He said the same dam built on a different part of the Mary River would have achieved a "vastly better" result.
"One of the biggest issues - and you can go back to my record as I said - that this is going to cost between $4 billion and $5 billion by the time we're finished. And think of it this way ... that would be 12 Warragamba Dams, and it was a low level - at best 5m storage," Senator Joyce said.
"It (the Traveston Dam) would have just been a glorified swamp. It was the most incredible waste of money that anyone had ever presumed," Senator Joyce said on The Bolt Report.
But Senator Joyce confirmed the Coalition was determined to build a dam to protect Gympie, which has been hard hit in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 natural disasters.
"Oh, yeah. There are still the prospects higher up for extensions of other dams and back in the national park, there are better sites for a dam than the one they had," he said.
Senator Joyce was the deputy chair of a Coalition taskforce which compiled a discussion paper outlining up to 100 dams to be built across the country.
Then environment minister Peter Garrett scrapped the Bligh government's $1.8 billion Traveston Dam project in 2009 on "environmental grounds". It came after the project drew fierce opposition from the Coalition, conservation groups and a successful local campaign.
Mayor Ron Dyne endorsed the raising of Borumba Dam as a source of drinking water, but said it would achieve limited flood mitigation.