IT'S a bold vision with a multi-billion-dollar price tag.
Rockhampton businessman Dominic Doblo took media to the skies yesterday to give them a bird's eye view of his grand plan for a mega-dam on the Fitzroy River.
He is pushing for the development of the Fitzroy Gap Dam, 140km from the mouth of the Fitzroy River, north-west of Rockhampton.
With a capacity of 10,000 gigalitres, it would equal Lake Argyle in Western Australia, Australia's largest artificial lake by volume, and be bigger than the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
Mr Doblo said it was an urgent priority for Rockhampton and Central Queensland and hailed the project as "nation building stuff".
He has enlisted the support of respected Central Queensland cattleman Sir Graham McCamley, and is imploring other influential people and the region's politicians to back his plan.
Mr Doblo explained that the dam was first designed in the 1930s by Dr John Bradfield, the engineer who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Brisbane's Story Bridge.
He said the dam proposal had been "looked at on several occasions" since but the enormity of the project had scared politicians of the day.
He confirmed that no studies or reports had been done on the dam since 2006 but it was mentioned in the Central Queensland Regional Water Supply Study released that year.
As for costings, Mr Doblo has done the sums.
"The cost of this project would be more than $3 billion, I got that figure from the money that was spent on the desalination plant at Tugun, but it would be less than $9 billion which was to revamp the Bradfield scheme which was discussed in the Courier Mail in 2010," he told the media throng.
Mr Doblo said he expected the dam to be funded by the Federal Government and private companies.
"It is extremely important that everyone gets behind this at this stage," he said.
"If we let this opportunity go, we've missed it. This is what Rockhampton needs for its economy.
"Everyone is dreaming about a food bowl. We are not going to have any sort of food bowl or agricultural bowl or any sort of bowl without this scale of water."
Mr Doblo said the dam would flood-proof Rockhampton and guarantee water security for Central Queensland.