Stanthorpe families and farmers will have access to a larger, more secure water supply after Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General approved the $76 million Emu Swamp Dam project.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the project would create up to 145 jobs during construction and secure Stanthorpe’s future water needs.
“Stanthorpe is renowned as a top-quality fruit producing region, growing the majority of the State’s apples and stone fruit and about half its grapes,” Mr Seeney said.
“This additional water supply, a new 10,500 mega-litre dam at Emu Swamp located about 15 kilometres south-west of Stanthorpe, will enable the region’s agricultural sector to grow and prosper.
“We promised to deliver better planning and infrastructure and this new dam delivers on that commitment.”
“It’s part of our strong plan to grow agriculture as one of the four pillars of the economy, after being ignored by Labor for so many years.
“It will also provide an estimated $139 million injection into the State’s economy through construction and the operation of the dam and its pipelines.”
The former Stanthorpe Council had been investigating building a new dam since 2006 in response to requests from residents and farmers for extra water. Southern Downs Regional Council will construct the dam on the Severn River and build a 23km pipeline from the dam to the existing Mt Marley water treatment plant.
The Coordinator-General has attached 50 conditions and recommendations to the project that Council must abide by, such as establishing an environmental offsets plan to result in no net loss of vulnerable flora and fauna species.
The Coordinator-General's report now goes to the Commonwealth Environment Minister for a decision on issues pertaining to the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act under the assessment bilateral agreement.
Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg said the announcement that Emu Swamp Dam had been approved was great news for his community.
“Farmers and residents will be able to breathe a sigh of relief now that this project has been approved, a project that we have been waiting for, for 25 years,” Mr Springborg said.
“I’d like to thank council, local growers and the community for their tenacity and patience in pursuing the dam over such a long period of time.”
The Queensland Coordinator-General’s report on the Environmental Impact Statement will be available online later today at www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/emu-swamp-dam