WATER WASTED: Water lost out to sea from flooded northern rivers like the Burdekin River (pictured in February 2019) could be captured by the LNP’s New Bradfield Scheme. Picture: LUKE SCHOUTEN
WATER WASTED: Water lost out to sea from flooded northern rivers like the Burdekin River (pictured in February 2019) could be captured by the LNP’s New Bradfield Scheme. Picture: LUKE SCHOUTEN

LNP Bradfield plan to tackle CQ droughts

A NEW Bradfield Scheme promising to boost agriculture and droughtproof CQ was revealed by the Queensland LNP yesterday — without mention of the Fitzroy Gap Dam.

While the Gap Dam has often been touted by local political identities Dominic Doblo and One Nation’s Wade Rothery as an essential component of a Bradfield Scheme, it wasn’t on Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington’s radar when she announced the ambitious ­$15-billion plan.

Ms Frecklington’s new water scheme promises to droughtproof parched western Queensland, generate power, reduce run-off onto the Great Barrier Reef and create a new food bowl the size of Tasmania.

NEW PLAN: The Queensland LNP have revealed their plan for a modified Bradfield Scheme to stimulate agriculture and boost water security.
NEW PLAN: The Queensland LNP have revealed their plan for a modified Bradfield Scheme to stimulate agriculture and boost water security.

A Bradfield-like solution appears to have support from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Deputy Jackie Trad who told Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week that they were open to discussing a scaled-back, updated version of the Bradfield scheme.

The LNP’s plan is to almost double the Hells Gate Dam height to 120m, creating the largest dam in Queensland, drawing water from the South Johnstone, Tully, Herbert and Burdekin rivers.

By raising the height of the wall, Ms Frecklingston said water could be piped under the range, increasing the scheme’s efficiency while generating up to 2000 megawatts of green energy through a series of hydro-electric plants.

“It would easily be the ­biggest hydro-electric project this state has ever seen,” she said.

“And its water would enable a vast area of Queensland to be cultivated for the very first time. Crops could be raised on the blacksoil plains stretching south from Hughenden

“This new food bowl in the west would be around 80,000sq km in size.”

The project would feed water into the Warrego River, and then into the Murray-Darling river system.

At an estimated cost of $9b, the Gap Dam was previously determined as too expensive, and shallow, which covered too much agricultural land.



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