Water Week

EWN Publishing

Qld Government dumps plans for modified Bradfield scheme to divert water from north Qld; no go ahead without Federal nod, says Beattie, disappointing many supporters of the legendary scheme

Posted by waterweek on 2 October 2007

The Queensland State Government had officially shelved support for the controversial 70-year-old modified Bradfield scheme to divert water through inland rivers to save the Murray Darling Basin, according to Peter Michael in Georgetown, reported The Courier-Mail, (27/09/2007, p.16), quoting Northern Australian land and Water Task Force chair Senator Bill Heffernan.

Not without Federal support: In an official letter to the high-profile taskforce, the State Government warned it did not want to progress with any revised Bradfield scheme without a direct recommendation from the Federal Government.

Complete turnaround: This came despite a $30,000 advertising campaign by the State Government when, in an open letter, former premier Peter Beattie called on people to “raise their voices to ask the Prime Minister to make a real commitment to exploring large, long-term solutions to our nation’s water problems”. “The key question is, do we take the work to the water, or the water to the work?” Heffernan said, adding that his taskforce was unlikely to force the hand of the State Government.

Disappointed by the move: Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce, also in Georgetown, said he fully supported the idea of a revived Bradfield scheme when it was publicly flagged seven months ago. “It is extremely disappointing that a program of such merit that would deliver water to our food bowl of the nation has been yet again shelved,” Joyce said.

The Courier Mail, 27/9/2007, p. 16

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