Thursday, 30 July 2009

Alexandrina Council water raiders refuse to take resounding "No" for an answer

Given that the Clarence Valley has firmly said no to any Clarence River catchment freshwater diversion scheme it is surprising to find that some people cannot abide having their will crossed.

36.1 Clarence River Diversion Study - Cr Tuckwell
File Ref: 9.24.1
Officer: Councillor Frank Tuckwell

A proposed submission to the 2009 National Conference of the Murray Darling Association to be held in the Playford Council area, SA in September 2009.

The Process
The Murray Darling Association (Region 6) at their February meeting passed a resolution requesting its five member Council’s support for placing a Notice of Motion in reference to the Clarence River Diversion Study on the AGM of the National Conference to be held at Playford in September. It is important that all member Councils respond before April 30 to allow the Region 6 Board to prepare a full submission to the MDA Federal Board meeting in May. This will allow any redrafting that may be required to be done to be completed and returned to the Federal Board by June.

The Proposal
As this Council has led and supported this proposal for the past two years, once again we have the opportunity to lead the call for a Clarence River Diversion Study to be placed before the Federal Government by the National Conference of the Murray Darling Association. The MDA has for almost thirty years pressed for a complete scientific, environmental and engineering study for this proposal. The concept has been called for from within the Basin by its communities since the 1930’s and it gained support of the Fraser Government who put $4M on its estimates to do the study. However they were succeeded by the Hawke Government who had other important priorities, so the proposal lapsed Now more than ever it is important that this proposal be put into the political field again. The worst drought the Basin has lived through has ironically seen massive flooding on almost all of the east coast rivers just scores of kilometres across the Great Divide from the dry Basin.
There are many calls for pipelines and other schemes to provide large scale water diversion to the lower sections of the continent, but the MDA has been both consistent and persistent in pursuing the Clarence River Study. Once again the MDA stresses that in calling for the study that this is not a question of whether the Diversion shall or shall not be built, but that as a matter of urgency this important study should be carried out to determine which case is proven.

That the Alexandrina Council supports Region 6 of the Murray Darling Association in putting forward the Notice of Motion to its National Conference calling for the Federal Government to re-examine the question of the Clarence River Diversion Study, relative to water flows through the Murray Darling River System


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