SWAMPED WITH DEMANDS: James Lister calls on SDRC to step up to ensure the development of Emu Swamp Dam.
SWAMPED WITH DEMANDS: James Lister calls on SDRC to step up to ensure the development of Emu Swamp Dam. Marian Faa

Lister lashes out at SDRC for 'standing in way' of progress

THERE is mounting pressure for Emu Swamp Dam as state MP James Lister accuses Southern Downs Regional Council of actively preventing progress.

As each level of government refuses to take responsibility for the dam, the Member for the Southern Downs lashed out at the council in a recent social media post. 

The project, now more than 38 years in the pipeline, has faced numerous challenges in acquiring development and funding approval.

"They have fought and continue to fight and obstruct the Emu Swamp Dam project all the way, even though they know they won't have to pay a cent toward the capital cost,” Mr Lister said.

"It is a vital project which will provide at least 700 extra jobs and high security irrigation water to the highly productive horticultural industry in the Southern Downs.”

During a press conference this week Mayor Tracy Dobie disputed Mr Lister's remarks.

"Council has always supported Emu Swamp,” she said.

"I don't think Lister has engaged with council at all on Emu Swamp Dam.

"We have written to the federal member for water as well as the state minister to support the dam.”

The mayor said SDRC recognised the dam would provide a great benefit to the Granite Belt.

"It would supply at least 55 irrigators but there's another 250 or more primary producers that won't get access to it and we need to consider their future as well,” Cr Dobie said.

The State MP was not convinced and claimed the council was "standing in the way.”

"Emu Swamp Dam is so very close to being given the final go-ahead but it can't happen unless the council and state government get on board,” Mr Lister said.

"The SDRC's failure to support this project in both words and deeds gives Anastasia Palaczszuk and Jackie Trad all the excuse they need to put it off indefinitely.”



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