Thursday, 17 October 2019

What would a NSW Local Government Conference be without yet another call to dam and divert coastal rivers

Greater Hume Shire Council motion before the NSW Local Government Conference (14-16 October 2019):

That Local Government NSW urges the NSW Government to investigate the concept of diverting coastal rivers inland and other initiatives to increase water storage capacity in NSW. 

Note from Council 

Council submitted a similar motion to the 2015 Conference which was carried. The 2015 Conference Action report stated the following: “The NSW Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Lands and Water, the Hon Niall Blair, responded on the 17 February 2016, as follows: 

The NSW Government undertook reviews of the feasibility of proposals to divert coastal streams inland in the 1980s, which concluded that there were a number of physically practicable schemes. However, they were shown to be too costly and incur significant environmental impacts. The Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation further reviewed the potential for diversions from the Clarence River to south-east QLD in 2007. 

These investigations also concluded that "The wide ranging economic, environmental and social implications of diverting rivers and piping water make such projects prohibitively expensive, and socially and environmentally disruptive. 

The NSW Government has committed $1.25B to water security through town water supply, wastewater treatment and dam safety infrastructure projects.” 

Since 2015, many towns across NSW have suffered significant drinking water shortages along with the devastation of many of our irrigation districts and the communities they support. Greater Hume Council is of the view that the appetite for innovative water collection and storage projects has changed with the Federal Government actively encouraging the development of large-scale water capture and transfer schemes to harvest unallocated water resources through National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility. There is an opportunity for LGNSW to take a leadership role in demanding that the NSW Government ‘come on board’ to develop large scale water capture and transfer schemes to increase long-term water availability and security for primary producers, businesses and communities in rural and regional NSW.

No comments: