Deputy Mayor of Toowoomba, Paul Antonio at the nearly dry Cooby dam , at only 8.9% full , which has not had a significant inflow of water since 1999 , despite wide spread rain fall elsewhere around the state , north of Toowoomba, QLD.
Deputy Mayor of Toowoomba, Paul Antonio at the nearly dry Cooby dam , at only 8.9% full , which has not had a significant inflow of water since 1999 , despite wide spread rain fall elsewhere around the state , north of Toowoomba, QLD.

MP’s call for referendum on dams

A FED-up Federal MP has sensationally urged changing the Constitution to allow the Commonwealth to override states and start building a number of drought-proofing dams.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt has flagged sending voters to a referendum to help end a growing political impasse with several states, which are "ideologically" opposed to building dams over environmental concerns.

The radical proposal comes as a number of Morrison Government MPs are growing increasingly frustrated with a number of Labor states, which are being accused of deliberately delaying or reducing the size of dams.

The issue of dams and the drought is expected to dominate the Nationals' party room and parliament when it resumes on Monday.

 

Nationals MP Keith Pitt in Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra
Nationals MP Keith Pitt in Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra

It comes as Government is expected to announce a number of new dams with the NSW Liberal Government by the end of the week.

Under the Constitution, water is generally state responsibility because it owns the resource.

Mr Pitt, who has railed against the Palaszczuk Government for planning to flush more than 100,000 megalitres from Paradise Dam over 10 weeks, as well as reducing the size of the water infrastructure, citing safety issues, said change was needed.

"There is no more frustrating issue right now than misplaced political will from state governments determined not to build critical water infrastructure like dams,'' Mr Pitt told The Courier-Mail.

State ministers' comments like `we aren't building dams because it won't rain any more' just shows these decisions are ideologically based rather than decisions based on the people's interest.

"So it's now past crunch time in regards to the drought. and in states like Queensland the Labor State Government is still dragging the chain.

"It's now time for drastic action. There are buildings full of lawyers in Canberra who I'm sure can find a genuine reason for the Commonwealth to just take over building dams and get bulldozers on the ground.

"And if they can't find a way then we as Members of parliament must. And if there is no other way, then let's put a change to the Constitution to the Australian people, put the states on the side line and just get on with it. Our regional community's deserve no less."

In an opinion piece published in The Courier-Mail, Mr Pitt also proposes a new government-owned corporation focused just on building dams.

"The Australian Building Corporation for Dams can be an exact replica of the Australian Rail Track Corporation currently chaired by former deputy prime minister Warren Truss."