BIT OF A STRETCH: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been accused of overlooking the proponents of the Granite Belt's major water infrastructure project, Emu Swamp Dam.
BIT OF A STRETCH: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been accused of overlooking the proponents of the Granite Belt's major water infrastructure project, Emu Swamp Dam.

Emu Swamp Dam proponents 'snubbed' by Premier

EMU Swamp Dam advocates have been insulted by recent remarks from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk which failed to acknowledge the proponent's involvement with the water infrastructure plan.

In a series of media releases, Ms Palaszczuk said she had been working with Southern Downs Regional Council to progress the irrigation dam plans, which would bring 700 jobs to the region.

"Stanthorpe and Warwick have had some decent rain recently, but it's nowhere near enough to break the drought. We'll continue to work closely with the council to support people and build the water infrastructure the area needs," she wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Her post did not gain support from Stanthorpe and Granite Belt Chamber of Commerce president Graham Parker, who was frustrated the Chamber of Commerce, which was influential in gaining dam funding, had been overlooked.

"I'm a little bit insulted on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce," he said.

"The comments that the State Government are working with (the) council are a bit of a stretch.

(The) council is not involved in Emu Swamp Dam at all, so to then have the Premier say they helped deliver the dam is an insult to our two years of hard work."

MP James Lister supported Mr Parker.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk has persistently and falsely claimed on social media that she's working with the council to kickstart Emu Swamp Dam," Mr Lister said.

"The Southern Downs Regional Council is not the proponent, and in fact has been hostile to the project."

Minister for Natural Resources Dr Anthony Lynham said Mr Lister's comments were untrue.

"The member for Southern Downs' claims are false and misleading," he said.

"My department is meeting directly with Granite Belt Water on a fortnightly basis to make sure that milestones are set and adhered to.

"We want this dam to be built.

"Once again, we have put money on the table and getting on with the job while the federal LNP government goes missing in action.

"If the member for Southern Downs was serious about water security for his electorate, he would be asking his federal government colleagues to sign the deal now and put money on the table."

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie also denied the council had opposed the dam.

"We have written to the federal and state government endorsing council support for the irrigation dam," she said.

"Water security for growers is very important and we have a number of growers here who have invested their own funding. It is not the role of local government to build dams, but it is our role to provide support and that is what we have been doing."

 

Editor's note: in a previous edition of this story, it was reported that 70 jobs would be created when in fact 700 jobs would be created.