Dam Review Must be Independent of Queensland Government

Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett is seeking to meet with the federal Environment Minister next week to discuss ways to ensure the Traveston Crossing and Wyaralong dam proposals can be assessed independently of the Queensland government.

"Premier Beattie has made no secret of the fact that he wants to build these dams and will stop at nothing, including the loss of communities and species, to get them," Senator Bartlett said.

"A Queensland government controlled assessment of the proposals will not be independent and is unlikely to be comprehensive. There will be limited opportunities for public consultation and independent input, or to review the outcome of such an assessment.

"The federal Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act is the best legal avenue there is for stopping this disastrous dam, and it should not be forgotten that this avenue is only there because of the Democrats actions in strengthening and voting for this legislation back in 1999.

"If it were not for the federal law being put in place, there would no meaningful mechanism that could ensure the environmental impacts these dams are properly examined.

"Having supported that law, I am very keen to see everything is done to make sure it is properly applied. A proposal for a Senate Inquiry is really a back-up option if we cant be sure that the assessment procedures under the EPBC Act will be fully utilised.

"I will be doing everything within my power as a Queensland Senator to ensure that Queenslanders get a hearing on the proposals and that any review is an independent one," Senator Bartlett said.

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