Wednesday, 18 June 2008

NSW Nationals get ready to betray Northern Rivers over water security and energy

In an effort to differentiate themselves from the regionally unpopular Liberal Party, the NSW Nationals went to the support of their federal counterparts contesting the November 2007 federal election by promising that rivers on the NSW North Coast would be safe from water diversion schemes and backing away from calls to place commercial nuclear power plants in the Northern Rivers region.

Less than seven months later the story changes.
According to the Tweed Daily News, the Nationals NSW secretariat (at its conference last weekend) resolved to "support greater efforts to reduce eastern water lost to the ocean and more in-depth ways to turn water inland".

The party's newly elected vice-chair, Jeremy Challacombe from Grafton, tries to present himself as a new-style National but just parrots the same old line from party diehards on water and energy.
Indeed, in The Daily Examiner on Wednesday 18 June 2008 Mr. Challacombe had the gall to try and present the Lithgow-led push to once again try and grab Northern Rivers fresh water supplies as "the motion was more about better water management than river diversion".

Mr. Challacombe would be well aware that water in the Clarence catchment area (the principal target of would-be water raiders) is very well managed for sustainable outcomes.
His willingness to support investigation of "nuclear options" is also disappointing for many in the Northern Rivers region.

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