Is Labor Party smarter than a fifth grader?

AS PETER Garrett committed himself to a thorough and proper analysis of the dam proposal now before him, the chair of the Greater Mary Association yesterday focused on an apparent anomaly.

“No water is flowing over the tidal barrage on the Mary River to connect the Mary to the sea and Brisbane has not received a drop of water from the Mary yet,” Darryl Stewart said.

While it is common for Mary water levels to drop between July and November, Mr Stewart fears for the ecological consequences of the falls in volume that could result from a dam at Traveston Crossing.

“When there is no flow over the barrage this means no fresh water to nurture the estuary and its fishery or the Marine Park of the Great Sandy Strait and its internationally vital Ramsar wetlands for migratory shorebirds.

“The longer the flow stops, the more effect it has on water quality in the estuary. This means steadily deteriorating conditions for estuarine creatures.”

Mr Stewart maintains that about 130,000 megalitres will be taken out of the Mary River each year if the dam goes ahead.

“Would someone please advise the Premier and her lame duck cabinet that even Queensland fifth graders know that it is rainfall that drives river flow? The part of the catchment downstream of the proposed dam site might be bigger but it is drier.” Federal Environment Minister Mr Garrett said he understood the sensitivities and would decide based on the advice he had received, including expert scientific information and meetings with stakeholders.

“I will do my job thoroughly and properly,” he said.

He indicated he would not meet any more people about the dam, appearing to rule out the independent study the GMA had urged him to carry out.



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