Wednesday, 13 June 2007

A balanced political perspective

From: "Stott Despoja, Natasha (Senator)"
To: [edited]
Subject: Re Clarence Catchment Area
Date: Wednesday, 13 June 2007 5:58 PM

Dear Ms Melville,

Thank you for forwarding your open letter to the Hon Malcolm Turnbull.

While state borders should not be barriers to solving our growing water crisis, the Australian Democrats do not believe that pumping water from one State to another is a solution.

The government is looking at this issue by putting the most extreme measures first.
We believe that a reasonable and measured approach to the water crisis is needed, one where we use the water available to us more efficiently.

Purified recycled water and water efficiency measures such as retro-fitting water tanks and harvesting storm water should be the Government's focus.

It makes no sense to reduce environmental flows in NSW river systems and destroy sensitive ecosystems that are essential for ecological balance and health, in order to build dams that will be useless if there is no rain to fill them. And further climate change will mean that rain can not be guaranteed.

NSW regional centres are facing their own water crises, with some southern areas already on harsh restrictions. Water scarcity will be extended up the coast if the damming option of NSW river systems is pursued.

Pumping water across catchment areas is also a very costly business and one that should not be the considered in addressing water scarcity in Queensland's south-east.

I support your stand against diverting water away from the Clarence Catchment Area.

Thank you again for bringing this important issue to my attention.

Yours sincerely,

Natasha Stott Despoja
Australian Democrats Senator for South Australia

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