LNP’s proposed Urannah Dam proposal risks taxpayer funds, vulnerable species and reef catchment

Despite independent economic analysis outlining that the Urannah Dam proposal in Central Queensland would be economically unviable, the Federal Government today announced an election promise that would sink almost half a billion dollars into the environmentally devastating project. 

Queensland Conservation Council Water Policy Officer, Nigel Parratt, says that the dam proposal would be a major loss for taxpayers and ecosystems, but a big win for the coal mining companies that are set to receive the water. 

“The economic analysis shows a return of only 26 cents per dollar investment for this Dam proposal. Using public funds to build this dam that will destroy critically important wetlands and forests, fuel dangerous climate change and is economically unviable is an appalling misuse of taxpayer dollars,” Mr Parratt said.

If built, Urannah Dam will be the second largest dam in Queensland which will inundate thousands of hectares of pristine wetlands and forests that provide essential habitat for numerous threatened and vulnerable endemic species such as the Irwin’s turtle, which is found nowhere else on earth. 

“The Federal Government is willing to waste half a billion in taxpayer funds to build a dam that benefits mining companies and is unlikely to provide any return on investment, while also sacrificing pristine ecosystems in a critical reef catchment,” Mr Parratt said.  

“Instead of using public funds to build this or other dams that cause irreversible environmental impacts and are not economically viable, the Government should spend taxpayer dollars on assisting farmers to adopt efficient water use practices and modernising irrigation infrastructure to reduce water losses, which will deliver tangible environmental and socioeconomic benefits for regional communities” Parratt concluded.  

As water from the dam will be used to support new coal mines, building Urannah dam will also lead to increased carbon emissions that will further fuel dangerous climate change such as the recent floods in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

Needless to say, the proposed Urannah Dam will be a tragedy for Wiri and Birri people. Learn more about the cultural significance of Urannah here, and watch the video produced by Muddy Scales below.


Media contact: Water Policy Officer, Nigel Parratt, 0417 752 546