The state government of Queensland, Australia, has announced a reduction of the land required for the construction of the A$1.7B (US$1.3B) Traveston dam, on the Mary river, near Gympie, from almost 14,000ha to 9800ha.

Final dam alignment, and detailed flood modelling have shown that a total of 597 properties – not the original 1000 – will be affected by dam inundation, and road alignment changes.

The state government has also put in place a multi-million dollar package to support businesses and workers impacted by the construction of the dam. The first stage of the dam is due to be completed by 2011, with the second stage expected to be completed by 2035.

In the meantime the Sunshine Coast Environment Council is urging the Federal Government to order an independent inquiry into the environmental impacts of the Traveston Crossing dam in Queensland’s southeast. However, Australia’s Federal Government says no decision has been made on whether there will be a public inquiry.

The Queensland proposal will be scrutinised under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.