CQ businessman backs Doblo's proposed Gap Dam on Fitzroy
FOR more than 30 years, every time Roger Toole flew over The Gap he thought it would be the perfect site for a dam.
The former businessman has travelled extensively throughout Australia in his own aircraft and said years of observation led him to believe Dominic Doblo's proposed mega-dam had the potential to be "one of the best projects" in Australia.
Mr Doblo announced his grand vision for a 10,000 gigalitre dam at The Gap on the Fitzroy River in August.
Despite strong support from respected cattleman Sir Graham McCamley, the multi-billion dollar project has struggled to generate enthusiasm with local politicians.
But Mr Toole said he didn't want to see the proposal cast aside without proper feasibility studies.
"Shortsightedness is often about band-aid fixes," he said.
"And band-aid fixes don't provide long term sustainability."
He said large amounts of stored water was one of the most essential things for Central Queensland going forward. With that, Mr Toole said the region had the potential to become a food bowl for Australia and South-East Asia.
Mr Toole said the proposed dam could also overcome the need for a South Rockhampton flood levee if built properly.
The capacity of Mr Doblo's proposed Gap Dam would equal Lake Argyle in Western Australia.
Mr Toole said the Ord River Irrigation Scheme, which he has flown over, had provided the East Kimberley with "absolutely incredible" agriculture potential.
But he said Rockhampton would be in a better position to make the most of that potential if the Gap Dam were to go ahead, without the isolation and small population problems of the Kimberley.
Mr Toole said he would like to see The Gap proposal included in the Northern Australia plan.
In early October, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Senator Matt Canavan surveyed dam sites between Rockhampton, Moranbah and Emerald from the air.
At the time Ms Landry said they were looking at The Gap, along with other dam projects in the region including the Connors River Dam, Rookwood Weir and raising the wall at Eden Bann Weir.