“After carefully considering all the information put before me and advice from my department, it is very clear to me that the Traveston Crossing Dam cannot go ahead without unacceptable impacts on matters of national environmental significance,” Garrett said, adding that the science presented to him suggested that the project would have serious and irreversible effects on nationally listed species such as the Australian lungfish, the Mary River turtle, and the Mary River cod.

The area to be flooded by the proposed dam is critical habitat for populations of these species. Garrett said the dam would likely have serious consequences for the species, including affecting their ability to breed and maintain population numbers.

Just hours before Garrett released his proposal, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh had warned that water prices would likely rise if that dam did not get the green light, and had said the dam was ‘critical’ to future water security in the region.

In early October, the first stage of the dam had been approved by Queensland’s Co-ordinator General, dependent on a number of environmental conditions. In a statement released at that time, Bligh said the dam was the best and cheapest water supply option, and would create 770 construction jobs for the region.

The dam is being proposed by Queensland Water Infrastructure Pty and had been scheduled for completion by 2016/2017, It would be located on the Mary River and would supply up to 70,000 megalitres per year.

Following the release of Garrett’s decision today, the dam proponent and relevant federal ministers now have 10 days to comment. The minister must then consider any submissions before making the final decision on whether or not the dam will go ahead.

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Garrett says no to Traveston Dam