Tuesday, 19 June 2007

He said, she said. (2)

He said: "It would appear to me that the Clarence Valley Council and possibly yourself are unaware of the drastic water shortages being experienced in the Far West of the state and either you do not realise or do not care about the potential environmental, economic and social impacts that the drought is having on many communities within NSW.

Very shortly the Minister for Water, The Hon. Phil Koperberg, will be making a decision on the water allocation for the town of Cobar for the 2007/2008 year. Given the severe drought conditions there is every likelihood that there will be some reduction in that allocation because of the very low level of the Burrendong Dam.

If this is the case then Cobar will be facing a major dilemma with the possibility of the three (3) major mines in Cobar having to cut back production or even close."
[General Manager,Cobar Shire Council, extract from letter to JM Melville,dated 13 June 2007].

She said: The Cobar region is in the Murray-Darling Basin. This region has been aware for decades of a looming water crisis.
The mining companies operating the mines in question are not newcomers to the industry and similarly these companies have been fully aware of predicted longterm water shortages.
Now it seems that the Clarence catchment area is supposed to mitigate this widespread failure to adequately plan with regard to scarce water resources.
It would be a rare person in New South Wales who is unaware of or unsympathetic to the plight of regions affected by prolonged drought.
However, the argument that the General Manager appears to be trying to fly - that his area's environment, economy and communities should have a higher priority than those of the Clarence Valley - is flawed.
Gone are the days when interbasin transfers can be blithely promoted to compensate for the chronic over-allocation of river water.
The Clarence Valley should not be expected to place its own future at risk to satisfy the commercial needs of mining companies such as Rio Tinto and CSA Mines. No matter how many people they assert these mines employ.
I note that, in these "severe drought conditions", the only 2007 water restrictions currently displayed at www.cobar.nsw.gov.au indicate that hand held hoses can be used at anytime, fixed sprinklers every second day for two hours and cars can still be washed except on hard surfaces.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home