Below is an article published in the Townsville Bulletin on Wednesday 16 December, 2020.
Burdekin Mayor, Lyn McLaughlin
Mayor Lyn McLaughlin calls for impact assessment of Burdekin catchment damming
A North Queensland mayor has called for an independent body to review the potential impacts of damming the Burdekin River catchment.Read more
Media Release: 2/11/2020
Dams plan was a political fizzer
The outcome of last weekend’s Queensland election shows that voters could not be swayed by the promise of the biggest dam building program in Australia’s history.
The LNP promised to build a major new dam on the Burdekin River to irrigate dry lands in the interior of Queensland. The scheme would have cost tens of billions of dollars and led to unsustainable reductions in freshwater flowing to coastal ecosystems, including estuaries that fisheries depend upon.
The policy was targeted at voters in key electorates in Townsville. In an announcement in August, LNP leader Deb Frecklington said “the biggest benefit will be felt in Townsville” and “[the] project that will secure Townsville’s economic future for generations to come”. Voters returned ALP candidates in all three Townsville seats with swings of about three per cent.Read more
Media Release: 25/09/2020
The Burdekin Basin needs integrated, multi-purpose catchment
Speaking at seminar held in Townsville last week, eminent scientist John Williams warned that if urgent action is not taken, the Burdekin River could follow the same path to degradation as the Murray Darling River. Professor Williams, Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University and founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, said that with multiple proposals for new dams on the Burdekin River, action is needed now.Read more
Turbid water below Burdekin Falls Dam (NQCC field trip, June 2020)
As more information comes to light from feasibility studies into the construction of Hells Gates Dam, it becomes ever clearer that this proposal is not only economically unfeasible but also a significant risk to the health of the Burdekin River and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - particularly when considered alongside other projects proposed for the river system.Read more
There is no need for the Hells Gates Dam and it makes no sense! When Townsville faced a water crisis several years ago, all sorts of suggestions were made about the best way to secure a water supply for Townsville. The Hells Gates Dam was suggested by many as the way to guarantee water supply for Townsville, but we disagree.Read more
This, the fourth post in our water security series, began as a response to the first of them, the Townsville Water Discussion Paper, and addresses an issue which none of the first three looked at. Parts 2 and 3 are here and here. This is a guest post by Malcolm Tattersall. Once again, views expressed are the author’s, not those of NQCC.
When I read Gail Hamilton’s post six weeks ago I agreed with nearly all of it but noticed a gap which was potentially important, i.e. the impact of climate change on our water security: the ‘Regional Water Supply Security Assessment’ from the Department of Water and Energy Supply (2014) (pdf here), upon which she relied for her ‘current situation’ section, didn’t consider climate change effects at all.
That seemed quite odd to me since we know that climate change is with us already on a global level – that most of the hottest years on record have occurred this century, that desertification is a key driver of conflicts in the Middle East, and that sea level rise is drowning low-lying islands and threatening major cities around the world. Some of us have also been feeling, on a much more local and personal level, that Townsville has been having weaker Wet seasons and hotter summers than ever before, and I happened to know, because I looked at it recently, that Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) data backs up our feelings.Read more
This is the third part in a four-part series that discusses issues about water in our region. Read part 1 here. Read part 2 here. Part four asks how climate change will affect our region’s water security.
NQCC hosted a forum about the Hell’s Gate Dam feasibility study currently being conducted by Townsville Enterprise Ltd. NQCC was grateful to have the on-hand expertise of Patricia O’Callaghan (TEL CEO), David Lynch (principal economist for the study) and Jon Brodie (waterways expert). Here is what we were told about the dam and the study, plus questions that came from the audience.Read more
This is the second part in a four-part series that discusses issues about water in our region. Read part 1 here. Part three is a summary report of information shared by Townsville Enterprise Ltd. about the Hell’s Gate Dam feasibility study at our forum that was held on 10 October. Part four asks how climate change will affect our region’s water security.
Guest post written by Vern Veitch. All views expressed are the author’s and not the official opinion of NQCC.
With Townsville in a drought and under Level 3 water restrictions, the public are asking a lot of questions. Water falls out of the sky so why does it cost so much? Why don’t we just build another dam? If the dams are on higher ground, then why does water have to be pumped?
Mainstream media in Townsville certainly muddies the waters by publishing half-truths and not publishing all the really important bits of information. Through a concerted media effort, the public has been led to believe that Hell’s Gate is the answer to endless and cheap water.Read more
The Burdekin Dry Tropics Natural Resource Management (NRM) Plan was officially launched on 26th August. It is the only one of its kind in the region and forms the blueprint for how the community can work together to protect and sustainably manage our natural resources for the next 10 years. Read the Burdekin Dry Tropics NRM Plan here.