The need to dam a highly productive river is yet to be proven...


Williams Valley

A great place to live


Williams River at Tillegra

Vital to our community


Williams Valley

Area to be inundated if the dam goes ahead...


Williams Valley

Prime agricultural land



A tradition on this productive land...

dairy cows


A living community...

Community Involvement

River water

Vital for biodiversity


Williams River



Riverine forest

A rich ecosystem vital for biodiversity


A special environment...

Could you vote for a party that would destroy this?


Tillegra Bridge

A dead end road? We think not!


No Way!

The need to dam a highly productive river is yet to be proven...

No Way!

Responses to Hunter Bus. Chamber

Jul 27th, 2010 by admin | 0

Letters to the Editor submitted to Newcastle Herald:

Peter Shinnick (NH, 23/7) is wrong to assert that there is a requirement to boost water supplies in the Lower Hunter and that the Tillegra dam is the most affordable and environmentally sensitive way to do this.

Water demand in the Lower Hunter has dropped by nearly a third since the early 80’s and continues to trend downwards. Drought security is at a 30 year high.

Our analysis in August 2009 demonstrated that simply with a comprehensive water conservation program, similar to Sydney Water’s, the Lower Hunter would not need a new supply before 2050. This included accommodating a population increase of 160,000.

The Lower Hunter does not need the costly and damaging Tillerga dam. What it does need is a Government and business community willing to get behind a sustainable urban water plan that the community can then support.

Dr Simon Fane
Research Director  
The Institute for Sustainable Futures
University of Technology Sydney

Peter Shinnick, Hunter Business Chamber’s CEO (NH 23/07/10) talks up job opportunities in the Dungog area associated with the Tillegra Dam proposal. But what about jobs lost as irreplaceable farm land goes under water?  The actual job numbers in relation to the dam are 200 short term jobs, with 5 long term jobs. These are Treasury figures.  Compare this to the loss of 90 farms who supported numerous family members, and employed many businesses; vets, agricultural suppliers, machinery suppliers, milk couriers, mechanics, fencing contractors, earthmovers, fodder suppliers, fuel contractors, labourers etc.  Where is Mr Shinnick’s support for these businesses?

Profitable tourism will never come to Dungog with the current appalling road conditions. The best Hunter Water can offer the community on tourism on Tillegra was that they will support it, not fund it, not ensure tourism occurs, not ensure the roads are safe for tourists, nor do they pledge a straight out commitment to ensure the future of Dungog Shire.

What this community needs is a sustainable water plan where Hunter householders are not paying for a dam that they do not need. This dam  seems to be earmarked for the business community, come clean Hunter Water  and tells us what or who this dam is really for ?

Carol Pasenow


Peter Shinnick’s, (CEO of the Hunter Business Chamber), invocation of 200 years of successful business development in the Hunter, only describes part of the Hunter’s European history. He conveniently forgets an estimated 40,000 years of indigenous history, rapidly wiped out once Europeans settled. Is he ignoring the health problems faced by those in the Upper Hunter as coal mining continues to expand?  There’s the natural ecology supported by many rivers, now disappearing in the service of industry, dams, irrigation, flood control and some bad land use practices.  And agriculture is now diminished through de regulation.  
Right now, innovative business has the opportunity to learn from this history. The Tillegra Dam is not needed. We don’t need to destroy more farming livelihoods, more natural rivers, threaten further our biodiversity, and charge a selective tax on Hunter Water customers for a bad development process.
Peter Shinnick’s Business Chamber would be better off supporting a sustainable water plan which invests in smaller, alternative water supply options. Surveys have shown the community supports conservation alternatives and small business would benefit.

Sally Corbett
Fosterton (Williams River Valley)

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