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Thursday, 5 March 1970

Mr SWARTZ (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for National Development) - Recently, I met a deputation from the Local Government Border Rivers Project and we discussed this matter at some length. The deputation was introduced by my colleague, the honourable member for Maranoa. This project or series pf proposals has a relatively long history. I would hate to take up the time of the House in recounting this history at this stage. Suffice to say, Mr Speaker, after some years agreement was reached between the governments of Queensland and New South Wales and those governments have legislated for such an agreement. Subsequent to that, two firm proposals have emerged, one of which is up for consideration at the moment and is supported jointly by the two State governments. It had been submitted under the previous national water programme and is being considered now under the new national water programme announced by the Prime Minister only last October.

This scheme is a proposal for a large dam of about 200,000 acre feet to be constructed on Pike Creek which is a tributary of the Dumaresq River, one of the four border rivers. The proposal is for the cost of this dam to be met jointly by the three governments. The cost of it would be approximately, I think, SI 4m. This proposal, now coming under the new national water scheme, is being examined at present as a matter of urgency by the Commonwealth. I hesitate at this time to indicate what the final decision of the Government will be. But I can assure the House that we would anticipate the proposal coming forward for consideration by the Government during the next few months.

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