Showing posts with label Tweed Shire Council. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tweed Shire Council. Show all posts

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Community unhappy about Tweed Shire Council water mining consent at Rowland Creek


Image: Onthehouse

Echo NetDaily
, 6 October 2018:

Around 100 protestors made their point before council ignored them by voting 4–3, to reject Mayor Katie Milne’s rescission motion in regards to the September vote, where the majority of Tweed Shire councillors gave the thumbs up to a water mining operation at Rowlands Creek.

Councillor Katie Milne moved that a DA for a bulk loading/delivery of extracted water and roadworks at Rowlands Creek Road be deferred for several reasons including that NSW Water’s response to the pumping study was a brief email, not a formal review.

She asked that council seek additional consideration and hydrological testing from the applicant as outlined in a report by Professor Peter Cook (Potential Impact of Groundwater Pumping on Rowlands Creek) and that a suitably qualified university review the applicant’s report and subsequent response as well as NSW Water’s response and Professor Cook’s reports.

The motion also argued that the costings of road damage (referred to in the report but not provided) be publicly released; that the Rowlands Creek / Kyogle Roads intersection problem (which has been acknowledged and considered by the applicant’s traffic engineers but remains unresolved) should be referred to an independent expert for an opinion on the best practice approach; that council refer the problem of the Rowlands Creek Road / Mitchell Street intersection to the same independent expert for opinion on a best practice solution; and, that Council staff report whether they have investigated previously claimed discrepancies in the road width on the straight close to Uki – if not, to do so and if the Bitzios report is incorrect propose appropriate corrective measures.

The motion also asked that council seek independent legal advice on whether its public interest assessment meets Council and other legal obligations.

The 4–3 vote went Crs Cherry, Cooper and Milne for the rescission, and Cs Byrne, Polglase, Allsop and Owen against.

Cr Milne told Echonetdaily that this is not the end of the issue as far as she and council are concerned. ‘The developer has to gain final sign-off from councillors that the roadworks required are properly completed before he can commence operations,’ said Ms Milne.

‘There is another application in the system for Dungay, the court judgement for the Urliup expansion, and numerous applications for amendments required to rectify non-compliances of other existing operators as well as whatever else comes in.’
The mayor added that some of her greatest concerns include the safety of local residents, the impact on Rowlands Creek, the viability of the State Significant Farmlands adjacent, and the viability of locals’ stock and domestic water bores as well as the enormous costs expected for residents for these ongoing road repairs.
The Tweed Water Alliance submitted a hydrology report which suggested the water mining should not go ahead yet council still voted to go ahead. Ms Milne says the report was unequivocal and absolutely convincing. ‘It was done by one of the world’s leading groundwater scientists. There are always councillors who put development before the community. Unfortunately the Labor councillor joined them this time.
‘This is an issue that affects the whole community across the Shire. Apart from the water security issues, I’m sure our residents and pensioners would not be keen on subsidising ongoing road damage from these heavy trucks.’

Tweed Water Alliance’s Facebook page suggests that direct community action is now being contemplated.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Everytime someone buys a bottle of water in Australia it has consequences for a community somewhere in the world


By November 2017 Tweed Shire's est. 93,458 residents faced a water security trifecta.

Floods in the first quarter of the year had affected water quality and local infrastructure, a  tidal anomaly in August had caused saltwater to enter the Bray Park Weir, the following month Terranora Lagoon was contaminated by raw sewerage from the treatment plant and the walls of Clarrie Hall dam still needed raising to cope with urban water needs.

Water sustainability still remains an issue in 2018.

In this case it appears to be Black Mount Pty Ltd and Mt. Warning Spring Water Company's commercial water supply needs which are the main culprit.......

Echo NetDaily, 13 April 2018:

A call for the halt of water mining in the Tweed Valley has been made by NSW Greens MP and North Coast spokesperson, Dawn Walker in state parliament this week and is supported by the Tweed Water Alliance. Concerns over the impact on underground water resources, alleged poor compliance with extraction licenses and the damage caused by heavy vehicles have all been raised.

‘Water is our most precious resource and gigalitres of water beneath Tweed Valley are being sucked up and bottled for commercial profit, leaving the community high and dry with the impacts. Water mining licences are being handed out by the government without adequate monitoring and in many cases, water meters haven’t even been installed,’ said Ms Walker.

Water mining licences are controlled by the state government while work on the property and permission for truck movements are controlled by the local council.

‘We certainly support the ban,’ said Jeremy Tager, spokesperson for the Tweed 
water alliance who believes the water extraction companies are ‘operating lawlessly’.

‘Extracting water is a lose lose prospect for here and most other places. Water is taken away from local users; it creates little or no employment as most of the operators are water transporters. That means the trucks come in and get filled up and then are taken away to be bottled elsewhere.

‘They only pay a a small road contribution to drive these big trucks on rural roads that were never designed for them.’

In December 2017 the Tweed council voted to amend their LEP (local environment plan) 2014 to remove the clause that the previous council had put in to allow water extraction for bottling water in the Tweed shire. This has been sent to the state government for approval as part of the Gateway process. If the state government decide that the change can proceed then Tweed council will be able to put the LEP amendment on public display.

The state government can also request that a ‘savings clause’ be put in that would allow current applications that are waring to be assessed to be allowed.

Echonetdaily asked the state government what the time frame for responding to the Tweeds request for removing the water mining clause from the LEP was and if they would request the inclusion of a ‘savings clause’.

A spokesperson for the department of planning and environment responded stating that; ‘The department is currently in the early stages of assessing a proposal from Tweed Shire council to remove the water extraction and bottling clause to the Tweed Shire 2014 LEP.

Local extractor takes council to court

Larry Karlos, a local water extractor, is currently taking the Tweed Council to the Land and Environment court to appeal their decision not to allow them to increase the size of the trucks they use to transport water from six meters to nineteen meters.
‘The council refused the application for 19m trucks because they felt that the road was no suitable for that size truck,’ said Tweed Mayor Katie Milne.

‘Urlip Road is really narrow and in some places it is only one lane. There are also areas where it is very steep on one side and has a steep drop off on the other.

ABC News, 21 March 2018:

It's the new battle in the bush — the bottled water wars.

On one side is Australia's $800-million-a-year bottled water industry and its suppliers, on the other, rural residents who fear their most precious resource, groundwater, is being squandered.

"It's dividing the local community," said Larry Karlos, one of half a dozen water extractors in the Tweed Valley in northern New South Wales.
He's been pumping water from an aquifer beneath his property for 16 years.
But his recent bid to increase the amount he sells to bottling companies has ignited local opposition.

Fourth-generation farmer Patrick O'Brien fears his children's future is being jeopardised for the profit of the water industry.

"If they don't stop this type of thing then, you know, what's going to be left?" he told 7.30.

“What's going to left for future generations? No-one was really worried when they were trucking the water out in small amounts, but then they want more, they want more trips, they want bigger trucks."