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Unmasking the Bias: The Questionable Composition of the Pioneer-Burdekin SRG

In the spirit of open dialogue and democracy, it is essential that all voices impacted by any developmental project are heard and given a seat at the table. However, this doesn't seem to be the case for the Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) of the Queensland Hydro Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro project.

We at Save Eungella have noticed a concerning trend - the SRG primarily consists of VIPs who attended the Premier’s opulent $700-a-minute Christmas party at the end of 2022. This raises alarming questions about the legitimacy of the representation in this group and the objectivity of the discussions taking place.

Photo of attendees of the Premier’s $700-a-minute Christmas party
Premier’s $700-a-minute Christmas party attendees

The SRG should be a platform for balanced dialogue, which involves every stakeholder affected by the hydro project. However, the current composition seems to lean heavily towards a select few, resulting in an apparent bias. It is imperative for the fairness of the process and for the future of the Eungella region that the SRG opens its doors to diverse voices that have been overlooked until now.

The Christmas party, colloquially known as the "Premier’s $700-a-minute Christmas party," was an exclusive event with a lavish price tag, beyond the reach of many Queenslanders. It is in this setting that the major players of the SRG were seemingly chosen. The problem is not the event itself, but the fact that the group formed in its wake does not seem to represent the broad spectrum of stakeholders affected by the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro project.

The residents of Eungella, environmental advocates, and those concerned about the potential negative impacts on the local ecosystem have been sidelined, their voices drowned out by the clinking glasses of the Christmas party attendees.

At Save Eungella, we believe that the stakes are too high for such blatant disregard of balanced representation. The impact of the pumped hydro project will ripple through our communities, our environment, and our cherished local wildlife. This is not a decision to be made behind closed doors by a select few.

We urge the Queensland Hydro and the SRG to take a step back and reconsider the composition of this group. Open up the conversation to those directly affected by the project, to those who live, breathe, and love Eungella. The community has a right to be heard, a right to participate, and a right to protect what they hold dear.



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