News

Barnaby supports $80m dam plan

Barnaby Joyce
Barnaby Joyce

POTENTIAL future deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce is backing the proposal for a new dam for the Granite Belt at Emu Swamp after attending a Southern Downs Regional Council special meeting this week.

The proposed urban and irrigation dam north of Stanthorpe is estimated to cost around $80 million, with at least 40% of the cost to be borne by ratepayers.

"The dam report is ready to go and Emu Swamp Dam is in a very favourable position," Senator Joyce said this week, after visiting the site earlier this year as part of an LNP Opposition task force.

Councillor Vic Pennisi, who has advocated for the massive project for more than two decades, said ratepayers would not be stuck with the whole cost.

"There is an assumption out there that ratepayers will have to pay for it," he said.

"The urban component rests with the ratepayers but not the growers' irrigation component."

Cr Pennisi said he felt the dam was a good investment for the future.

"As long as there is breath in my body I will continue to advocate for this project," he declared.

"People fought to give us the freedom we enjoy in this country and some of us have the obligation to ensure future generations are able to enjoy the same freedoms."

The dam is in the supplementary stage of the Environmental Impact Statement process and Cr Pennisi said he had no idea how much longer that process could take.

"It could take up to another two years to go through," Cr Pennisi said.

"A lot depends on the drivers behind the application and what the government of the day wants to happen."

Cr Pennisi, who has been involved in the water sector for more than 20 years, said it was the process anyone had to go through when getting permission to build a dam.

"In my personal opinion Stanthorpe needs more water and Emu Swamp is the best location," he said.

"There is an agricultural component and an urban water component."

Senator Joyce's support comes despite the Daily News revealing last year that council consultants had advised Emu Swamp would not get state or federal environmental clearance due to a rare turtle and other species.

Cr Jamie Mackenzie said during this week's meeting councillors were able to highlight other much-needed jobs to Senator Joyce - who may run for our federal seat of Maranoa - including the Woodenbong road.

"I believe it's holding back the whole region," he said.

"We need a better connection for heavy freight vehicles between Lismore and Toowoomba and to enhance tourism links between Stanthorpe and Byron Bay."

The road was dubbed the worst in Australia by Will Hagen on ABC radio last week.

Topics:  barnaby joyce, emu swamp dam plan



Motocross accident on property off Cunningham Highway

The ambulance has been called to an accident at Gap Creek Farm.

Rider comes off motocross bike on Southern Downs

Weather outlook after rain early this morning

More rain is forecast for the Southern Downs

Weather outlook after Southern Downs residents wake to Sunday rain

PHOTOS: Morgan Park packed with racers

Chris Lamberth made the trip to Morgan Park from Toowoomba.

THERE'S little doubt Warwick is becoming a hub for motorsport action

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Diverse works on show at Robert Channon exhibition

Artists Leon and Bruce Ward at the art exhibition at Robert Channon Wines' Singing Lake Cafe.

Robert Channon Wines has transformed into an art gallery

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state