Calls for state to sure up outback water supply

State KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has called on the State Government to help an isolated, outback community guarantee its town water supply by providing a modest cash injection to the state’s newest dam.

The Charleston Dam, just outside of Forsayth in the Etheridge Shire Council up in the Gulf, has been under construction for the last two years after it secured $10 million in Commonwealth funding in 2016.

So far the State Government has provided no money to the project which, when completed, will provide 100ML of water per year to the Forsayth township and 500ML of water to Georgetown.

The dam would also include a recreational area, which would be a boon for locals and tourists alike.

In a Question on Notice put to Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham, Mr Katter called on Labor to provide the remaining $2 million needed to make the project a reality.

“With reference to the ongoing construction of the Charleston Dam, just outside of Forsayth in the Etheridge Shire Council area, to which the State Government has not yet provided any funds.

“Will the Minister commit to assisting this small, rural community secure its town water supply by providing the further $2m needed to finish this critical piece of water infrastructure?” Mr Katter asked in his question.

Mr Katter said the Etheridge Shire Council had appealed to the State Government numerous times in recent years for help with building the dam, but were always knocked back.

“If the State Government is serious about creating sustainable jobs and growth in rural and regional Queensland, then they need to prioritise industry-enabling infrastructure such as dams,” he said.

“For too long, water supply has been a big concern in Forsayth and Georgetown and yet the State Government has refused to lift a finger.

“Water is the lifeblood of all our rural communities and it is what underpins all development and economic progress – it is also the main ingredient to improving liveability.”

The Charleston Dam is the most-advanced of a series of dam projects in the Traeger electorate.

Big Rocks Weir (located outside Charters Towers) has been planned as Stage 1 of the Hell’s Gate Dam project and the Hughenden Irrigation Project (HIPCO) is also due to be constructed.

All projects have been funded by the Commonwealth Government.

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