Although there is some way to go and further communication required with local landholders, I am backing this project for partial Commonwealth funding, including $3 million towards the feasibility study. It would provide important jobs and the opportunity to open up new areas of unexplored agriculture.
Proponents are adamant that Urannah would give remotes places like Collinsville in Capricornia, a new lease of life by offering new irrigation industries and employment opportunities.
According to regional economic group, Bowen Collinsville Enterprise (BCE), the Urannah Dam could be used for organic horticulture and organic sugar production; as well as coal mining in the Bowen Basin, and to supply electricity for the town of Collinsville.
Collinsville has been hit by the local coal downturn and needs a boost.
I continue to join the Member for Dawson George Christensen in calling on the federal and state governments to support the construction of the Urannah Dam under the Northern Australia process.
Such a dam would open up new agricultural land - with the potential to triple the current cane production industry in the region and double the size of other agricultural production. And importantly, it has the potential to double the current agriculture workforce in the region.
It is estimated that the dam has the capacity to generate $323 million over 25 years; and as I said would help to repopulate the Collinsville community and give a major boost to business in the area.
Of course, this project requires the support of federal, state and local governments - especially in allowing private investment to be part of the project.
Michelle has visited the site near Collinsville a number of times and hasspoken to local people and local business owners. The community is adamant that the development of Urannah Dam and a power station at Collinsville will provide a new lease of life to this once booming coal region.
Local farmers have also told Michelle that it also means employment through extra grazing opportunities. They are hopeful an old local abattoir could be reopened instead of sending cattle to Bowen.