APRIL 29, 2016: THIS morning I met with key proponents for the Urannah Dam – a project which will provide water to underpin growth and development in the Mackay, Whitsunday, Isaac and Burdekin regions.
We met to discuss the push for funding for the planning and design of this dam, which has the potential to open up more than 12,000 hectares of agricultural land and provide thousands of jobs.
I hope to see funding flow when the successful applicants for the Liberal National government’s National Water Infrastructure Development Fund are announced.
I have done everything in my power to get the Urannah Dam on the radar of those in Canberra, and I am hopeful we will be able to start work on the project through the $25 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.
There’s funding which will be specifically directed to Northern Australia, and the planning and design work for Urannah Dam is in the running for this.
Initiative Capital CEO John Cotter, who is working with the indigenous owners of Urannah Station, said the project should be favoured not only for its huge economic benefits for agricultural development, but also because it was a unique indigenous partnership.
“This is a partnership of the community of traditional owners and private financiers, the first of its kind,” Mr Cotter said.
“Urannah Dam will provide water at rates that make agricultural enterprise truly viable.
“It is estimated that Urannah will provide water at $250 per megalitre in comparison to other dams which are four times this much.
“If fully developed, the dam will be one and a half times the size of Sydney Harbour but only a fraction of the surface area. Its economic viability is in its depth.”
It was a pleasure to meet with Urannah Station traditional owner Kelvin Dunrobin and again catch up with Bowen Collinsville Enterprise representative David Evans.
The Urannah Dam project has the potential to create thousands of jobs and immediately open up more than 12,000 hectares of agricultural land with the potential for approximately 30,000 hectares in total, but the crucial next step for its consideration is to secure funding for a $5.2 million feasibility study.
Urannah Dam would be located on the western side of the Clarke Range at Eungella, upstream of the Burdekin on Broken River. The nearest urban centre would be Collinsville.