On 27th April Queensland Premier Peter Beattie announced $2.3 billion worth of water projects for Queensland. The Premier said,
“The Infrastructure Plan includes funding for a new dam and two new weirs. We will need more urban and industrial water supplies in order to meet the needs of the more than one million extra people expected to live here in 2026. We will meet the challenges not only by building dams and weirs, but also through strategies including recycling, better management of available water, and demand management.”
My first question was how much more water will the different components of this Infrastructure Plan deliver? This information was not available in the glossy report launched with the announcement (see especially pg 28, table 6).
Today I received an email from the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines explaining that,
“With regard to the South East Queensland (SEQ) Infrastructure Plan, investigations are taking place on the infrastructure listed in Table 6 and the need timing, sequencing and optimum level of development of these projects will be finalised as part of the SEQ Regional Water Supply Strategy. The amount of water available to the projects will be clarified with the release of relevant Water Resource Plans. The Draft Logan and Mary Basin Water Resource Plans are planned for release for public consultation at the end of this year, while the Draft Moreton Water Resource Plan is expected to be released for public consultation towards the middle of next year.”
The name and number of a policy officer was provided should I have any further queries. I rang the officer, just to check that they really had a costing and a timeline for the dam, the Wyaralong, but no idea what its storage capacity might be. “It is still being modelling. The yield is still being looked at,” he said.
So we have a plan and a budget, all announced with lots of media coverage, but not even an estimate of how much water will be delivered.