LETTER TO EDITOR: Dam plan is not backed up by research

MR Doblo has rallied together a number of local business people to use in his full page ads in the naive belief that a very expensive dam should be built on the basis of a popularity contest.

It is interesting to note that his list of names does not include any engineer, scientist, or economist of standing who would be able to give a reasoned opinion as to the viability of his plan for a mega dam at The Gap on the Fitzroy River.

I invite Mr Doblo to inform his supporters and the rest of us by answering the following questions:

1. Can Mr Doblo provide us with any feasibility study or business case which supports this proposed dam?

2. The capacity of a dam at The Gap would be less than onemillion megalitres unless a large number of other saddle dams are built. A 10million megalitre dam would require more than 100 kilometres of additional dams. This would flood many thousands of hectares of productive land in the mid reaches of the Fitzroy. Can Mr Doblo provide us with a proper study which describes the height, length and cost of his dam and the area of inundation? (His proposed dam is more than five times the size of Qld's largest dam, Burdekin Falls which is 1.8million megalitres.)

3. As the big floods that occur in Rockhampton every 20 or so years usually deliver about 25million megalitres in a few weeks, can Mr Doblo explain how a 10million megalitre dam would have any significant effect on a future flood event, and how he proposes to keep the dam empty for many years so that it is ready to catch such a flood?

4. Does Mr Doblo understand why a dam at The Gap was not even considered as a viable option in the comprehensive Central Qld Regional Water Supply Strategy published by the State Government in 2006? What additional information does he have that the Dept of Natural Resources is not aware of?

Mr Doblo comes top of the class for one quality only - persistence. However he comes bottom of the class for homework, research, and rational presentation of the facts. Quite simply: This dam will not work.

Ian Herbert,

Yeppoon



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