Kilkivan Action Group’s Katy McCallum, Nationals Leader David Littleproud and Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien at Monday’s meeting in the old Kilkivan Shire Council Chambers (Photo: Supplied)

June 10, 2024

The Nationals have vowed not one cent of Commonwealth money will be spent on the Borumba Dam pumped hydro project if the Coalition wins power at the next Federal Election.

Nationals Leader – and Member for Maranoa – David Littleproud made the promise after speaking to local residents at a meeting held in Kilkivan on Monday.

Also at the meeting were Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien and Kilkivan Action Group organiser Katy McCallum, who has been leading protests against the Borumba Dam project and its associated transmission lines.

“Our major concern is the destruction of our stunning district and irreparable damage to the environment, where so much amazing flora and fauna live,” Ms McCallum said.

“The Borumba Pumped Hydro project has not met its requirements under social licence and locals in our area don’t want it.”

Mr O’Brien described his electorate as a “battleground” where local property owners were standing up for their rights and demanding their voices be heard.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr O’Brien said people’s lives were being “upended” because of “an ideologically driven energy transition to an unreliable expensive form of electricity generation that ultimately will not work”.

He said the Borumba Dam project – and the Forest Wind wind farm that is proposed to be built in an exotic pine plantation between Gympie and Maryborough – were “cloaked in absolute secrecy”.

“Everyone should worry about that when governments start saying we’re not going to tell you what we’re doing with your money and your life, every citizen should start worrying,” Mr O’Brien said.

“And that’s what our State Labor Government and our Federal Labor Government are doing. They are not telling us what’s going on with our lives.”

The LNP says Labor has “hidden” details about the project in this year’s Budget with all costs from 2024, including forward estimates, removed.

“The local State Member has asked the State Minister numerous times for greater detail around the business case and the construction of this pumped hydro project at Borumba Dam. There’s absolute silence. They will not tell us,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In the Federal Budget, there’s an allocation with ‘commercial-in-confidence’ on it. That’s our money. That’s our taxpayers’ money.”

He said the project was potentially the biggest capital expenditure on infrastructure in Queensland’s history “but we’re not allowed to know about it”.

Mr Littleproud said there was a human toll to the “reckless race” to renewables.

“We will not be committing any funds to Borumba or Eungella pumped hydro projects here in Queensland,” he said.

“There won’t be a cent spent from the Federal Government if the Coalition wins the next election … we want to give the commitment, reaffirming to the people of Kilkivan that a future Coalition government will not spend one cent on Borumba.

“We will put out energy policy out in the very near future. It will have an energy mix. It will not be an all-renewables approach.

“We will have an orderly transition in sweating out our coal-fired power stations and transitioning some of those to nuclear power plants; we will have gas with carbon-capture storage in the right place and there will be a place for renewables.

“We are not against renewables … but renewables should be in an environment they can’t destroy. And that’s on rooftops where the concentration of power and population is. Not out here, ripping up prime agricultural land and ripping up your food security, driving up your food prices.”

Media representatives and local residents at Monday’s meeting in Kilkivan (Photo: Supplied)

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Nationals Leader – and Member for Maranoa – David Littleproud spoke to the media in (a very noisy) Bligh Street, Kilkivan, after meeting with Wide Bay MP Llew O’Brien, Kilkivan Action Group organiser Katy McCallum and local residents at the old Kilkivan Shire Council Chambers to hear protests against the Borumba Pumped Hydro and other renewable energy projects. Mr Littleproud also expressed his opinion that a prohibition of vapes would not work.

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The Borumba Dam pumped hydro project involves building a new upper reservoir, as well as a new dam wall to replace the existing Borumba Dam wall.

The new wall would increase Lake Borumba’s storage from 46 to 224 gigalitres.

An underground power station would link the two reservoirs together and be able to generate up to 2000MW of electricity for up to 24 hours at a time.

Water would be pumped to the upper reservoir when there was excess energy in the grid, and allowed to flow back down through the turbines when power was needed.

This electricity would be distributed via transmission lines to the Woolooga and Halys substations and would work in conjunction with battery storage systems to balance the electricity grid after coal-fired generation is phased out in favour of solar and wind farm generation.

Property owners and some conservationists have raised concerns about the loss of koala habitat and bushland to transmission towers and threats to wildlife by the dam expansion, as well as the loss of amenity to landholders.

In June 2023, the State Government announced $6 billion in funding to progress the project which has an estimated total cost of $14.2 billion.

The Environmental Impact assessment process is under way and preliminary exploratory drilling has begun.

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4 Responses to "‘Not One Cent’ On Borumba: LNP"

  1. I wonder what Ms McCallum means by “The Borumba Pumped Hydro project has not met its requirements under social licence”

  2. I think the big miners – especially the coal miners – are behind this “reckless renewables” push and the LNP (who derive a lot of funding from mining companies) are their shock troops.

    They lost my vote under Morrison and if they throw their weight behind nuclear they’re unlikely to ever get it back.

  3. Nanango was called the second dirtiest town in Queensland after first place was awarded to Mt Isa. All because of Tarong Power Station.

    Regardless of the truth of the claim, just wait and see what happens if the LNP decides to build a nuke station at Tarong. Goodbye tourists and watch land values plummet.

    I worked at Tarong for a time. A security guard told me about nuke stations in Scotland having tanks and troops on site in case of terrorist attacks.

    A nuke station must make such a tempting target for terrorists. Happy thought? I think not. Good on you Littleproud and co.

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