The Tasmanian government has approved the $30M Meander dam project, with construction expected to start in spring 2006.
Primary Industries and Water Minister Steve Kons has signed a development agreement (DA) with Tasmanian Water Solutions (TWS) for the 48m high roller compacted dam, despite concerns about its financial viability.
Kons said that the government has always understood that the project, first proposed in 1986, is not financially viable in the sense that return from an investment would not be 5% or 10%.
But he said that it is economically viable – jobs will be created and 24Mm3 of the dam’s 42Mm3 capacity will be available as irrigation water for farmers in the South Esk basin.
However, environmental group the Tasmanian Greens has leaked documents to the press that continue to question the project’s financial security.
According to the group, they include a background briefing paper regarding the signing of the DA. Greens Opposition Primary Industries and Water spokesperson Kim Booth, who obtained the documents, said the contents confirmed suspicions that TWS’ proposal is not fully funded.
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