If the proposed Traveston Dam is approved, our extinction rate may very well increase.
The area proposed for destruction on the Mary River has very significant ecological and environmental values. Included amongst the rich biodiversity which can be found in the area are at least five endangered species including the Mary River Turtle and the Mary River Cod.
The Mary River turtle, has evolved over thousands of years to live only in the Mary River system. Due to its biology the turtle requires flowing, well-oxygenated streams and rivers for survival. The stagnant, low quality water of dams cannot provide the required habitat for this specialist species.
Imagine if we knowingly completely destroy the turtles' remaining habitat by approving this dam proposal? If the Traveston Dam is approved, it will certainly push the Mary River turtle to extinction.
Another species of grave concern is the Queensland lungfish, one of the world’s most ancient species with individuals reaching an age in excess of 100 years. Queensland lungfish only live naturally in one other river system - the Burnett, and are classified as vulnerable. With the construction of the Paradise Dam, the survival of our incredibly unique lungfish is in more doubt than ever.
This species, together with the Mary River Turtle, has existed from the dinosaur times, with fossil records dating back 380 million years! Can you imagine putting at risk one of the oldest living creatures on earth?
Another iconic Australian animal species which has been in the news recently is our koala. It has been well documented that the koala which is critically endangered in South East Queensland will become extinct in certain areas of the south-east within a few years, without immediate and drastic intervention. I cannot believe that any government would support a proposal that will destroy more koala habitat when this species is already at a grave risk of localized extinction.
I have only mentioned but a small part of the amazing biodiversity of this Mary River system.
I find it absolutely astonishing that in a time when our environment is in such jeopardy, that we should be discussing again, the issue of building a dam in such an ecologically sensitive area, when this same proposal in the past has already been twice rejected as being unviable.
We have more than 1700 species under threat of extinction and the Federal Government has also identified 3000 ecosystems also facing extinction.
In the past, nature has been turned into a commodity for us to buy, sell, destroy or consume as we please.
We must change our attitude for the benefit of our future generations. We do not own this planet! We are simply caretakers.
The approval of the Traveston Dam will destroy the Mary River Valley and create major environmental problems for the future. Please listen to the people Mr. Garrett, and oppose this ill-conceived dam.