Step forward for $2.9b Urannah project
Proponent Bowen River Utilities estimates up to 1200 full-time jobs would be created during two years of construction on the Central Queensland development and 600 full-time jobs once it is fully operational.
The Urannah project includes a new dam on the Broken River south-east of Collinsville and a pumped hydro-electricity power scheme as well as a water pipeline network and an irrigated precinct for high value agriculture.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said Queensland’s Coordinator-General had considered all community submissions before finalising the terms of reference for the EIS.
“Queenslanders have had their say on what they would like to see included in the terms of reference for the EIS on the Urannah project,” he said.
“A total of 218 submissions were received during the eight-week public notification period, from 30 November 2020 through to 29 January 2021.
“The Urannah Project potentially means water security and jobs for agriculture, industry and mines in the region.”
Water Minister Glenn Butcher said the Queensland Government continued to plan for future water supply needs throughout regional Queensland and supported the development of water infrastructure as part of the state’s Economic Recovery Plan.
“Project proponent Bowen River Utilities is now required to prepare a draft EIS that addresses the terms of reference,” he said.
“Queenslanders will then have another opportunity to have their say with submissions to be invited once the draft EIS is finalised.”
A key issue raised by the community was the potential cumulative impact of multiple water infrastructure projects under consideration in the Burdekin catchment.
This included potential impacts on river flows, existing water users, downstream water quality and aquatic fauna such as Irwin’s turtle (Elseya irwini).
Plans to build a 105km underground pipeline from the Burdekin River to Bowen have been boosted with $5 million in federal funding for a detailed busin...