'walking against warming'

This is an archived copy of an event that has already passed. It is online for informational purposes only.
  • Date:
  • Location: Queens Park, Brisbane, Not Assigned 0000 Queensland

Save the Mary River Coordinating Group

Support and Information Centre, Kandanga Railway, Ph:  5488 4800

http://www.savethemaryriver.com/     savethemaryriver@gmail.com



Save the Mary group fronts Brisbane


CAMPAIGNERS fighting the flawed proposal to dam the Mary River will be among thousands of Australians "walking against warming" in Brisbane tomorrow, November 4.


The international day of action is being organised by the Queensland Conservation Council - details and registration at www.walkagainstwarming.org


The peaceful walk will be attended by residents who are urging action on climate change now, and the number of walkers expected has already topped 3000.


Participants will march from Queens Park, corner of George and Elizabeth streets (behind the casino) at 2pm, to show their concern about dams and climate change.


People are being encouraged to bring family, friends, children and your signs.


Save the Mary River Coordinating member Glenda Pickersgill said it was an ideal chance to take the fight against the Traveston Crossing Dam to Brisbane again.


There will be entertainment, food and stalls, but many will be there to hear Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett and indigenous leader Eve Fesl among the guest speakers.


Even if you cannot attend the walk, you can help the fight against Traveston Crossing Dam by signing Senator Bartlett's website petition at www.andrewbartlett.com to request a public inquiry approval process to be followed for the Federal application for the proposed dam.



 Anna Bligh says:


"The Traveston Crossing and Wyaralong dams are major projects and their importance to South-East Queensland's water future cannot be understated.  As major projects for SEQ, they necessarily will have some impact on their localities. While this is unfortunate, the Government has an obligation to deliver water security for the people and industry of the region."

Brisbane's current water shortage needs to be solved by 2008 and there are viable alternatives that can come into effect in this time frame. Taxpayers' money needs to be spent on alternatives to building new dams now rather than throwing away money on building more empty dams that won't provide water till after 2012. The dismissal of the concerns of more than 20,000 petitioners is symptomatic of a failure of democracy.

"To give landholders certainty, land required for both dams and all stages of Traveston Crossing will be acquired now."

Buying land for a proposal that is not approved is not a responsible action but one that could only be seen as taking advantage for future development.

"Geotechnical investigation has allowed the realignment of the dam wall, and more accurate flood modelling has reduced the overall land needed from 13700 hectares to 9800ha."

Why has the dam size suddenly become 13700ha, to be reduced to 9800ha, when the largest possible area previously stated, including buffer zones, was 7600ha? The Premier's office four weeks ago denied that a new location for the dam wall was proposed.

"Geotechnical investigation has identified the new alignment has desired solid rock foundations on both left and right abutments as well as the centre section."

Drill core samples and geotech reporst for this and the previous dam wall alignment have not been released to the public. How can a proposed dam wall alignment be final when a major aquifer is in the centre and it crosses two geological fault lines?

"Traveston Crossing Stage 1, which is estimated to cost $1.7 billion, has a completion date of 2011 and Stage 2, if required, by 2035."

Where is the breakdown of costs?  How much is allowed for electricity line realignment, roads, land acquisition, social costs eg lost businesses, community structure breakdown, future environmental damage costs eg bank erosion, endangered fish kills, greenhouse gas emissions, aquatic weed control, salinity.

"Stage 1's capacity is now 153,000Ml with a yield of 70000 megalitres. The completed stage 2 by 2035 will have a capacity of a massive 570,000Ml with a yield of up to 150,000 Ml."

If, when the Premier released his three-stage plan in July, the yield of 150000Mls relied on raising Borumba, why is raising Borumba no longer included?

"The final dam wall alignment and subsequent detailed flood modelling means that a total of 597 properties - not the original 1000 - will be affected by dam inundation, or road alignment changes."

Overlaying the new map on the previous map shows they are virtually identical. There appears to be no changes from the previous maps that suggest major detailed flood modelling.

"The preliminary 556 houses estimate on both stages has also been reduced down to 204. Stage 1 of the dam will require 76 houses."

Why is there suddenly a focus on houses? The new line that cleverly cuts through a property to leave the house high and dry and neglects to consider that people here like to live in the country not on the edge of a swamp.

"The buyback process is already underway and 16 of those properties already purchased are recognised as no longer required and will be offered back to the owners."

Why is the land acquisition starting now, when the EIS won't be completed for at least 12 months? This project is only a proposal until all the approvals are completed. How it that people, whose properties are clearly outside the boundary of land to be acquired on the latest map, are still receiving notices that their land will be acquired?

"I can report to the House that both the Traveston and Wyaralong dams have been granted significant project status by the Coordinator-General. This means they are subject to full and thorough Environmental Impact Statements which will investigate the social, economic and environmental impacts of the project. The projects will also be assessed under the Commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999."

There is no comparison of social, economic and environmental impacts for all alternatives to building these two new dams. This needs to be completed at the start of a project, not as an afterthought. This State Government project needs to be subject to a public inquiry approval process with the EPBC Act through the Federal Government.

"The dam will include a range of measures to protect wildlife and habitat, including a fishway designed to world's best practice and suitable for Mary River Cod and the Queensland Lungfish."

Given that the fishway on the Paradise Dam was recently been found to have uncertain success for the lungfish, how is the new dam fish ladder going to be proven as effective. There is also a million-dollar turtle hatchery at Paradise Dam that has never produced any turtles.

"In fact, if the dam were built prior to the 1999 flood, it would have reduced the flooding impact in Gympie by some four metres"

Long term hydrological modelling of the government's dam proposal, based on historical flows in the Mary River, shows that a dam storage even bigger than the Government's latest proposal would have had almost no flood mitigation effect at all on the recent historic major floods of 1968, 1974 and 1989, and a minor effect only on the 1992 flood, because the dam would have been almost full when those flood events occurred.

Average  depth(in river channel) of 12m (stage 1) and 16.25m (stage2)

(sourced from the Key Facts from the Landholder brochure)

The average depth of stage 1 is 5m and stage 2 is 8m. This proposal is a shallow dam with high evaporation rates of 1.4m (up to two times higher if covered with aquatic weeds), 0.3m to 3m of seepage through the floor and prone to large amounts of aquatic weed growth such as salvinia, water hyacinth,  and possibly in future cabomba.  Hydrological modelling shows this is not sustainable from the Mary catchment and an almost empty swamp will be present for long periods of time. The World Commission on Dams has found that dams are a significant contributor to climate change. It has been found that decomposing vegetation in the dams emits carbon dioxide and methane, a green house gas that is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. This proposal will be a wilful act of environmental vandalism with global implications.

End of system flow (at river mouth) (Mean Annual Flow) of >85%)

(sourced from the Key Facts from the Landholder brochure)

To base the health of a river on mean annual flow is scientifically flawed when most of the runoff flows in a few large events. In the Mary Basin Water Resource Plan (WRP), the 1 in 20 year floods at the Mary River mouth will be cut by 31% - thus only allowing 69% of 1 in 20 year floods to reach the mouth.  In the Moreton catchment WRP, the 1 in 20 year floods at the Bremer River mouth will be cut by only 4%. - thus allowing 96% of 1 in 20 year floods to reach the Bremer River mouth. Why is the Moreton catchment being protected while the Mary catchment is being drained of its water?  The Moreton Water Resource Plan (WRP) recognises special eco features of the Moreton Bay and Pumicestone, while low water flows will impact the Ramsar Wetlands and Great Sandy Straits world heritage area in the Mary WRP.


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Queens Park, Brisbane, Not Assigned

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