Conservationists in Australia are claiming that the postponement of the proposed Traveston Crossing Dam is actually a sign that the dam will never be constructed. The dam, set to be built on the Mary River in Queensland, Australia, faces fierce criticism from local activists, residents, and councils.
A major hurdle for the dam’s construction has been the slew of environmental precautions and protections that Queensland Water Infrastructure Pty Ltd. has had to take care of. In order to perform the required community projects, such as local trail enhancement and habitat restoration, QWI is indefinitely postponing the construction.
The Australian Conservation Society is declaring this a “win” and says that this is the biggest sign yet that the dam may never become a reality. QWI, however, insists that this is nothing but a small setback, as the original plan was to perform the measures simultaneously with the construction. The firm also insists that the the project will be “delivered to a high environmental standard.”
Activist group Save the Mary River does not view the situation to be entirely rosy, but they believe their hard work is paying off. SMR is working to ensure that all dams on the river are environmentally sound, as well as fighting the Traveston Crossing Dam. They have called the postponement a “smokescreen”.
With studies over the last decade showing that dams in Australia and around the world are reducing biodiversity and decreasing river flows, it is more important now than ever before to put pressure on firms who consistently put profit over the needs of the planet and of marginalized people. Dam construction should be a last resort, and when deemed necessary, it must be done with every precaution taken.