Visionary water infrastructure should have been built years ago.
As a teenager on my family’s property between Richmond and Winton in Queensland, I heard it said that water could be run inland by gravity and stored in large dams. If this dream could become reality, then inland Queensland could endure the regular extended dry periods that devastate farming communities in our north.
My political opponents believe that we should allow all Queensland river water to flow into the sea. They build expensive desalination plants to produce drinking water and prevent visionary development from occurring.
I am not deterred and am convinced that some of the 200,000 gigalitres (GL) of water that currently runs into the sea in North Queensland should be redirected inland. This would make inland Queensland the biggest food bowl in the world & drought proof these areas for ever, saving untold numbers of livestock from starvation. It would also provide water for as many industries and innovative ideas as possible. Countries like Israel or America would have done this years ago.
To give context to that amount of water, it is 20 times the amount of water (10,000 GL) that the Murray Darling Basin allocates to irrigation. That water produces approximately $22 billion dollars of income per year.
My initial goal is to bring 25,000 GL (2.5 times the total Murray Darling Basin) inland. It would have the potential for $50 billion dollars of production / year.
Using detailed contour maps, (and the costs of building similar systems), my staff estimate it would cost $52 billion to build the three systems to achieve this.
These systems include:
- Increasing the volume of the Burdekin Dam four-fold, and using gravity fed pipes to more than double the irrigation areas east of the Burdekin dam (while supplying Townsville with extra water as well).
- Pumping water from the Burdekin dam to an elevation of 310 metres to gravity feed areas west of the dam up to 100 kms away with 4,000 GL /year (total cost $6 billion).
- Building a diversion channel, including three tunnels and raising the Hells Gate Dam to a height of 430 metres elevation. This could then gravity feed water via a pipeline to Lake Webb, (340 m elevation) and irrigate areas along the pipeline and west of Lake Webb.
- The 300 km pipeline would be designed to also gravitationally divert the upper parts of several rivers into Lake Buchanan This lake can be increased in storage volume to irrigate areas further west towards Aramac. The total cost would be $18 billion (to divert and store 10 -12,000 GL/year).
- Building a series of connected dams, a tunnel and pipeline from the Walsh, Tate, Lynd & Einasleigh rivers (400 metres elevation) to Flinders river (elevation 260 metres) to irrigate areas along the pipeline to Richmond. Total cost would be $28 billion (to divert and store 10 -12,000 GL /year)
Our Country needs people with vision and ability to lead us. Unfortunately, the two major parties play point scoring games and try only to be popular and politically correct.
When the election campaign starts, I will be detailing more than 50 innovative policies for a visionary future on my web site.
Senator Fraser Anning