State Budget Update

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Following the release of the State Budget on the 16th June, the SaveTheMaryRiver Coordinating Group has been busily investigating the implications for the Mary River. Here is a summary of the answers that we have been able to get from the State Government...

What is the $75m budget allocation to the Traveston Crossing Dam project for?
Community Futures Taskforce response 18/06/09:
“ that would be required to meet likely conditions for the project, were the Coordinator-General to recommend, and the Commonwealth subsequently approve, the construction of the Traveston Crossing Dam. The specifics of the what allocation would be spent on, and when, are contingent on environmental approval decisions. QWI has sought the allocation, through its shareholding minister, based on their assessment of likely mitigation work that may be required to be progressed during 09/10 on receipt of project approvals.” (QWI= Queensland Water Infrastructure P/l)

Does the Government have a breakdown the $75m allocation for 2009/2010 which details the sort of work which will be conducted, where it will be conducted, and who will conduct the work?
Community Futures Taskforce response: “No”
Coordinator-Generals office/Department of Infrastructure and Planning response: “No

When will there be a State Government assessment decision on the Traveston Crossing Dam project, resulting in the proposal being sent to Canberra for a Federal decision?
Coordinator-Generals office/Department of Infrastructure and Planning response 18/06/09:
“The Coordinator-General still has not received the information requested from QWI which outlines the environmental offset and mitigation measures proposed for the project. Even if this information was received immediately, it would not now be possible to assess this information and produce the Coordinator-General's report by the start of the 2009/2010 financial year. The department can not give any indication at all of when they are likely to receive the required information from QWI.”

What is the status of the Northern Pipeline Interconnector Project?
$211.5m allocated in the 2009/2010 for stage 2 of the project, which connects all water supplies from Cooroy to Lander's Shute to the SEQ water grid. (This pipeline is principally designed to transport water from the proposed Traveston Crossing dam). This project is still undergoing environmental impact assessment at both the State and Federal levels, and the required approvals have not yet been granted.

What has happened to the SEQ water strategy and the Queensland Water Commission?
The Qld Water Commission has been restructured and is administered under the new Department of Environment and Resource Management. A new Water Commissioner, Ms Mary Boydell was appointed on the 19/06/2009. Ms Boydell has extensive corporate experience in the water industry in Qld, including being a past director of Burnett Water, the proponent of the controversial Paradise Dam. One of the early tasks for the new commission will be the release of the new SEQ water strategy, which has been stalled since the release of the draft strategy in 2008. It will be very important to look at what role (if any) the proposed dam at Traveston Crossing plays in the new strategy.

Steve Burgess
for SaveTheMaryRiver Coordinating Group Info Centre