DISASTROUS: The site of the proposed dam wall for the failed Traveston Crossing dam.
DISASTROUS: The site of the proposed dam wall for the failed Traveston Crossing dam.

$500m Traveston dam fail could have built 10 new schools

THE State Labor Government expects to lose more than $300 million on the resale of properties in the Mary Valley which were purchased for the failed Traveston dam project.

Member for Gympie Tony Perrett said the figure means that more than half a billion taxpayers' dollars was wasted by State Labor Governments on the failed project.

"They represent losses of more than 50% from the purchase and subsequent resale of properties, and the estimated cost of wasted reports, strategies, impact statements, management costs, design works, and investigations," Mr Perrett said.

"It does not include the loss of revenue from businesses which closed down or moved away.

"The State Labor Government should apologise immediately to Queensland taxpayers for Labor's profligate waste of their money.

"The shocking figures have been revealed in a response to my Question on Notice in the Parliament asking for the total figures on properties which were bought and their resale.*

"The Government has finally revealed that it expects to lose $320 million from the resale of 13,000ha of properties for which it paid $520 million.

"It will sell 592 of the 655 it purchased and has transferred 53 to other government departments for infrastructure works and 10 to the Gympie Regional Council.

"Add to this figure the estimated cost of more the $200 million which was calculated in 2009 that the Bligh Labor government had spent on preparation on environmental impact statement and the completion of a supplementary statement, preliminary dam design, geotechnical investigations, design for roads and other infrastructure, preparation of access road design, property maintenance, weed control, cultural heritage survey, indigenous land use agreement, investigation for community and recreational facilities, trial tree plantation, local training initiatives.

"While we will never know the final figure, this demonstrates the appalling contempt for and mishandling that Labor governments have for taxpayers dollars.

"It sits in the same league as the Rudd/Gillard government's controversial pink batts fiasco.

"The squandered money is more than the total budget in 20 of the 29 Queensland Government departments.

"It could have been spent on building 10 new schools or 100 new ambulance stations.

"To put it in perspective, it is the same as the total cost of the duplication of the Bruce Hwy from Cooroy Southern Interchange to Sankey's Rd or two and half times our State's total budget for domestic and family violence over the next five years.

"The Traveston dam was a fiasco from the start.

"The Labor Government attempted to destroy the social, economic and environmental fabric of the Mary Valley communities and the broader Gympie region.

"After the purchase of the land it failed to suitably manage the properties, allowing noxious and invasive weeds to grow and assets to deteriorate.

"The previous LNP government put a stop to this gross mismanagement and started selling the land back into private ownership through the Mary Valley Economic Development Strategy.

"The future now looks much brighter for the region but it is a pity that Labor governments have cost Queensland taxpayers so much and the Mary Valley community has been battered by the insensitivity, callousness and complete disregard for the community's future," he said.

Gympie Times

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