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Bad Economics

Urannah Dam makes NO economic sense. 

The most recent economic analysis of the proposed Urannah Dam was undertaken by highly respected economist Andrew Buckwell from Atlas Impact. This independent economic analysis of Bowen River Utilities Business Case Analysis (BCA) concluded the Urannah Dam Project will return an unfeasible 26c benefit to every $1 cost. Clearly failing to meet the base level requirements of any project, let alone a piece of major water infrastructure funded by the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF).

Upon looking at their business case it is unthinkable that the project is still being pushed forward and has gotten this far with Bowen River Utilities practising some very creative accounting. Their claims that the project would bring a financially positive return is made by including a $700 million cost-benefit from the Burdekin Falls Dam To Moranbah Pipeline (BMP). A project for which there is no formal funding proposal or approval. 

It’s a bit like me claiming $400,000 savings for not buying a Ferrari that I never planned nor had the money to buy. The Department of Natural Resources, Mines & Energy has categorically stated that the BMP has no formal funding proposal. As a result, the project does not meet the Building Queensland requirements for Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA). Its inclusion is at best a hopeful addition within the business plan. At worse an attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of Queenslanders to push this dodgy project through.

Furthermore, the Planning Commission has openly criticised the failing cost-benefit analysis of the Urannah Dam Project, saying that failure to abide by the National Water Initiatives (NWI) guidelines for economic sustainability prior to investing in a project, "can burden taxpayers with ongoing costs, discourage efficient water use and result in long-lived impacts on communities and the environment."

Click below to read the independent economic analysis yourself.

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