The end of a long saga: Tillegra and Tillegra-lite off the agenda
Media release from MP John Kaye: 2 May 2013
Greens NSW MP John Kaye welcomed the decision of the O’Farrell government to remove new dams from the list of options being considered for the Lower Hunter Water plan.
(‘Dams off the agenda’, Newcastle Herald, 2 May 2013, http://j.mp/th130502)
Dr Kaye said: “It’s been a long, drawn-out saga for the Hunter community but at last the NSW government has landed somewhere sensible. Unlike Tillegra dam or its cut down cousin, Native Dog Creek, the short and medium term water supply options that remain on the table are all cost-effective, environmentally acceptable, job creating and easy on household water bills. If it had not been for the mismanagement of the previous Labor government and Hunter Water’s failure to stand up for its consumers, we could have avoided six years of anxiety and uncertainty.
Even the remaining emergency desalination option is very different to the original massive energy and money eating water plant that the previous government and Hunter Water threatened to build if Tillegra had been rejected. Because of its costs and its environmental impacts, desalination should only be considered after all other options have been exhausted.
The Hunter now has the opportunity to keep water bills down and avoid massive damage to the Williams River and the Lower Hunter wetlands. Improved water efficiency can take the pressure off the Lower Hunter wetlands that are in real trouble. Starved of the flood flows that are largely diverted to Grahamstown dam, salt levels are rising and bird populations are in long term decline. Rescuing these wetlands is important not just for their environmental values, but to protect the future of the fishing and prawning industries.
“It’s a testament to the campaign run by community and environment groups like No Tillegra Dam and the Save the Williams River Coalition that new dams are now off the table,” Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455