The dam’s benefits have been overstated and the business case does not take environmental costs into account, economist says
The Urannah dam project near Mackay has been supported by about $15m in federal grants since 2016. New economic analysis has questioned the value of the proposed 1.5 trillion-litre dam.
The $2.9bn Urannah dam near Mackay has been awarded coordinated project status by the Queensland government. Studies and preliminary planning work have been financed with about $15m in federal grants since 2016.
A Guardian Australia investigation in September found $12m in federal funding announced in the past two years ultimately flowed to a firm run by prominent Queensland Liberal National party figures and donors.
A preliminary business case for Urannah, submitted to the state government in 2019, claimed the project would return a benefit of $1.70 for every dollar invested.