Traveston Dam a 'real threat' if Aus Govt hands back power

THE Traveston Crossing dam would again be a real threat, while World Heritage areas and national parks would be vulnerable to uncontrolled state development, under Federal Government plans to hand environmental powers back to the states.

Those are the local implications of proposals to be considered Australia's foremost intergovernmental authority, which meets at Parliament House, Canberra this morning.

Anti-dam campaigner Glenda Pickersgill returned to ground zero, the Kandanga railway station yesterday, to warn that Queensland is not structured to provide safeguards on the abuse of government powers.

She said Queensland's unique lack of a Parliamentary upper house, or house of review, meant the state's political processes could be vulnerable to extreme views by the government of the day.

"We need to ensure that major state-owned projects (like the dam and proposed eco-tourism development on Fraser Island) continue to be subject to the assessment process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act," she said.

"There is a clear conflict of interest and a lack of independent environmental assessment when you get proposals by state owned companies being assessed by the state.

"How can there be independent assessment when you have that conflict of interest?" she said.

"Queensland's political system is unique in having no upper house to review decisions.

"We have the State Development Act, administered by the Co-ordinator General and there is no judicial review of his decisions."

Topics:  australian government environment gympie queensland government traveston crossing dam

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