Science trumps politics with Garrett decision
  • Thursday 12 November 2009

Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot has applauded the decision to scrap the Traveston Dam, saying science and people power had won the day.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett made the announcement in Brisbane today, although a final verdict on the project is not due until November 18.

Cr Abbot said the decision was an extraordinary victory for residents of the Mary Valley, who had fought to protect their community and the agricultural district from inundation since the dam was announced by former Premier Peter Beattie in April 2006.

“This decision today shows the Minister was fair dinkum when he said he would make his decision based on the science,” he said.

“I am absolutely delighted that Peter Garrett, a former head of the Australian Conservation Foundation and a vocal campaigner against the damming of the Franklin, has had the courage and the decency to block this terrible dam.

“This decision supports the independent assessment of the project, it means the Hervey Bay fishing industry has a future, local endangered species will be protected and the Mary Valley community who battled for this result have finally been rewarded for their efforts.

“There were never any reasonable grounds to support the dam and the Minister’s decision supports the view we expressed right from the beginning.”

Cr Abbot said an independent report by Professor Stuart White commissioned by the Mary Valley Council of Mayors in 2007 had clearly demonstrated there were less expensive, more environmentally friendly, long-term alternatives to the dam.

He congratulated the Minister on his decision and said the Mary Valley residents could finally get on with their lives.

“The residents of that community have struggled for three years and they have much to celebrate today,” Cr Abbot said.

“I’d also like to extend my heart felt congratulations to the Save the Mary Valley Coordinating Group and all the people who fought so hard for so long to stop this dam going ahead.