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Urannah Dam Will Burden Taxpayers

Media Release

27 September 2022

The proposed Urannah Dam west of Mackay will return as little as 26 cents for every dollar it costs, prompting Mackay Conservation Group to write this week to the Federal Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, urging that no further taxpayers funds be given to this private project.

Previous federal governments have provided more than $25 million in taxpayers funds to the private company proposing the Urannah Dam, Bowen River Utilities. The last federal budget promised another $483 million in taxpayers funds to subsidise the project.

Mackay Conservation Group, coordinator, Peter McCallum, said “The water from the Urannah Dam will be used to wash coal but the coal industry in our region has a limited life span. This dam will become a stranded asset in decades to come, costing taxpayers even more money.”

The proponents of the dam have ruled out piping water to the Whitsunday and Bowen region due to excessive cost.

“This flies in the face of claims made by Dawson Federal MP Andrew Wilcox that the dam ‘will essentially drought-proof the Whitsundays … there can be a pipeline from Urannah into Peter Faust Dam’. Clearly this is not true”, said Mr. McCallum.

The dam site and downstream area will impact 30 threatened species, with the potential to destroy a major population of the iconic Irwin’s Turtle, as well as adding to the erosion of Cape Bowling Green near Ayr which is a Ramsar-listed wetland of international importance.

For further information or interviews, please contact:
Imogen Lindenberg
Urannah Dam Campaigner
Mackay Conservation Group
[email protected]
(07) 4953 0808

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