Two ‘non-south-east Queensland’ LNP senators really destroyed Hells Gates Dam

Nov 8, 2022

Two ‘non-south-east Queensland’ LNP senators really destroyed Hells Gates Dam

Nov 8, 2022

KENNEDY MP Bob Katter was pleased to see the scrapping of a revised and ineffective plan for Hells Gates Dam from the federal budget.  

But he is adamant he did not destroy the correct proposal, and still stands by building the original dam. 

However, it was the Liberal National Party (LNP) and Townsville Enterprise Limited (TEL) who destroyed the original concept and drafted a “glorified weir,” Mr Katter said.  

Mr Katter spoke in Federation Chamber on Monday after reports two LNP senators who claim to represent non-south-east Queensland had been falsely advising North Queensland residents he was responsible for the destruction of Hells Gates.  

He said he had initially secured $48m to draw an updated engineering plan with costings for Hells Gates Dam, but that money was given to TEL, who instead, at the direction of the former Federal Government, designed a low-level dam that would only irrigate 50,000-60,000ha of land and featured pumped hydro 

“They drew up not, ‘the’ Hells Gates, but ‘their’ Hells Gates, and there is one hell of a difference between that, and the Hells Gates agreed to and designed by Dr JC Bradfield himself,” Mr Katter said.  

“Under the TEL proposal, sending water to Townsville would’ve been very costly and talking about pumped-hydro in North Queensland is a disastrous idea as we do not have the peak load electricity demand.” 

Mr Katter said the revised Bradfield design had called for the dam to be built 395m above sea level, and would provide cheap, gravity-fed water to Townsville, protect Ingham from a double flood, open up an additional 100,000ha of farmland for Ayr and send water out west.  

“All of that was destroyed by the LNP.”  

Mr Katter also responded to the Queensland Government water and resources department questioning the benefits of building a new dam west of Townsville and stating there was risk with the current “supply-driven” approach.  

“Where the hell do these people come from if they cannot see the dream of the Australian people to irrigate inland outback Australia—to take a little bit of water from where it rains all the time and put it out there where there are droughts all the time, in heartbreak country. 

“They have a complete inability to see the big picture,” he said.