AS the development of the Nathan Dam project ramps up, a wildlife preservation group is calling for further investigations into the boggomoss snail population.
The snail is the centre of controversy with a scientific study in 1996 discovering a population of 600 critically endangered snails living in an area that would be inundated if the dam is built.
Extensive field studies in 2009 located a significant area of additional boggomoss snail habitat throughout the Dawson region and the known population of the species had increased from 600 individual snails to about 18,000.
Upper Dawson Branch of the Wildlife Preservation Society project officer Adam Clark said his group was preparing to make a submission to the Nathan Dam Environmental Impact Study, but had been unable to obtain satisfactory information on how the population of snails fared after being inundated by two very big floods last year.
In a letter to the Environment Minister, Mr Clark asked: "Has the population increased, decreased, been relocated by the flood, or completely wiped out?
"We feel as though the survival of this threatened species has been forgotten about in the headlong rush by SunWater to get the EIS up and running."
Deputy Premier and State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney said this latest plea from the WPSQ just illustrated how ridiculous the whole issue with the boggomoss snail was.
"Floods are naturally occurring events, they have been happening for hundreds of years and the snail has survived all that time and will continue to survive," Mr Seeney said. "I believe there has been too much emphasis on the boggomoss snail from day one."
Mr Seeney said he would also be honouring his commitment to Banana Shire to lobby for an allocation of water from the dam for use in the Dawson Callide catchments.
"This water will be for urban and industrial development, not irrigation.
"The Nathan Dam and pipelines project, this time around, has been based entirely on supplying for industrial and urban demand and we cannot change that now for agricultural development because it was not successful last time.
"There is a growing demand for water for urban and industrial growth in the Dawson and Callide Valleys. There have been missed development opportunities in Biloela in the past due to a lack of a secure water supply. So it is very high on my agenda."