The Travesty of Traveston Crossing

MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA 12 December 2006 – Traveston Crossing.  We can honestly say that we have absolutely no idea where Traveston Crossing is.  Well, we have a rough idea.  We are now aware that it is in Queensland and that it may be somewhere near to Brisbane.  Aside from that we are clueless.  Prior to yesterday we would not have been game enough to even guess at Queensland.  We think our idiotic guess would probably have placed it somewhere in a Welsh valley.

Not only would we not have been able to guess its whereabouts, but we would not expect any of our acquaintances to be even remotely familiar with the place.  Perhaps we should expect our politicians to know, especially when they have just been made the environment spokesman.  We probably should expect them to have done a teeny weeny amount of background reading on local issues.

But, whether or not Peter Garrett has made a fool of himself or not on his first day should really be of little interest to anyone.  Yet, the chances are that whatever the merits of the Mary River Dam Proposal in Queensland, we can expect that the politicians of either persuasion will prefer to focus on the ‘gaff’ rather than on the project.

We have spent a total of about ten minutes yesterday looking for information on the project.  The long and the short of our ‘research’ was that the pros and cons, the benefits and downsides, the positives and the negatives were nowhere to be seen.  Instead we were faced with line after line, and paragraph after paragraph emphasising the deals that had been done among Queensland politicians and therefore which parties should be voted for and how preferences should be placed.

So it is, after our extensive ten minutes of research that we are none the wiser.  We know not whether the proposed damming of the Mary River in Queensland will go some way towards improving the local water supply and perhaps even the energy supply.

We have come out of it knowing that the parties have already lined themselves up ready for the onslaught at next years election.  With any luck there will have been plenty of rainfall to wash away the problem and the politicians.

We bring up the subject of water again because yesterday was another day when we were supposed to have some rain.  Again the water tank went unreplenished.  Again we were forced to rely on the supply from the mains water.

The drought is often portrayed in terms of the hardship suffered in the ‘bush’ such as the report that showed the Australian wool production has fallen to its lowest level in twenty years.  As bad as that may be, wool can still be imported if we have a deficit.  If we have a surplus then perhaps it may just mean a smaller surplus than in previous years.

However, the real problems with the drought will end up being with the city dwellers.  Given that the vast, overwhelming majority of Australians live in the major metropolitan cities it is perhaps time that more serious attention was paid to the issue by commercial enterprises to find an affordable and profitable way of improving the supply of water to the population.

If it is left to the governments of this country to do anything worthwhile then we will be waiting a long, long time.

Dan Denning

Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.

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9 Comments on "The Travesty of Traveston Crossing"

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Steve Milson

Thanks for the story concerning the plight of residents in the Mary Valley with the construction of the Travesty Crossing Dam. Information about the issue can be found on the following sites for your readers who may wish to learn more about the issue:

Once again thanks for your article.


Helga hill

Garrett should have know about the proposed traveston Crossing Dam, as he has recieved many letters faxes and emails from
concerned locals, so there is no excuse. The proposed dam , the water body is directly west, inland of Noosa Heads, that should give many an idea of where is is.
It was a political decision made without any real research, it had been declared in the early 90’s to be unsuitable due to environmental, social and economical reasons!!!
There is plenty on the net just google and you will find it, I can’t imagine how you couldn’t find anything.

I mean this in the nicest possible way, but, hey guys! Come on! Fair crack of the whip. Googling Traveston Crossing Dam or Mary River Dam will get you an endless resource list for yours, and others, reading pleasure. Another site, that is the parent website to traveston (the forum) and Traveston swamp news, is If you seek it, it is there. It is the primary resource site for those wishing to arm themselves with accurate facts concerning this environmental, social and ecomonic disaster, the QLD Governments proposed Traveston Crossing Dam. The forum at is no slouch… Read more »

Private enterprise to provide water infrastructure ? You mean the way they provide tollways through anti-competitive arrangements ? Let’s get real. Governments have over the years performed admirably in this area – it just hasn’t happened recently that’s all. And that’s really a comment on the quality of the government. Water is simply too precious to put into private hands.

This dam is a big mistake. I don’t live in the Mary Valley so it’s not a NIMBY issue. I have heard engineers and geologists discussing the dam and all agree that it won’t work. The drill results show unsuitable rock where they want to put the dam wall. There is a fault line under the area and a potential for earthquakes. There is not enough water in the river to fill it – if it does rain enough to fill this dam then Brisbane will have plenty of rain for its own needs and won’t need the dam. The… Read more »
Tricia Roth
This dam has no merits- it is a flawed proposal socially,economically and environmentally. There was no community consultation on the project- the community particpants on the water plan for the Mary River Basin did not even hear about the dam until Beattie’s announcement;the cost of the dam is in excess of 1.7 billion dollars (with no breakdown of those costs as yet from the state government) and there are numerous environmental impacts not only to World Heritage sites(Great Sandy Straits) but to threatened and endangered species (the lungfish, Mary River Cod, Mary River turtle -to name a few). It would… Read more »

Well, I’m also disappointed that your research didn’t yield any information – very surprising as this issue has received considerable media coverage (both local and national) since it’s surpise announcement in April 2006. I’m a Noosa Shire resident, and my home is one of the thousand or more properties under threat from this proposal. Please have a look at the excellent links posted in the first response above – on the forum you’ll find just about every media release printed or aired on the subject in the last 6 months.


This area has just been declared in drought!Furthermore it is on the same latitude as Brisbane’s Wivenhoe dam which has drought problems of its own.The only reason it’s there is because it is not Labour territory.

Rebekka + Shannon

we are two students working on an assignment that is based around the proposed Traveston Dam project and we were wondering if any of you guys knew any extremely detailed webstites that highlights the pros and cons of the proposed in frastructure.
thanks heaps
p.s comment this site

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