Barron River water releases challenged

Barron Rivers plan needs revision, badly flawed: This was because the Beattie government’s own Barron River resource operations plan, which was the bible of water management for the Barron River below Tinaroo Falls Dam, said so. It was the regulatory arm of the Barron River water resource plan, which was approved in 2002 and would not usually be looked at again for 10 years. But it was already showing that it was badly flawed and needed to be reviewed far sooner than 2012.

No guarantee of rainfall: As was been demonstrated by the current drought in the south-east and also in the drought in far-north Queensland in 2002-03, there was never a guarantee of any future rainfall. Water captured by dams should be preserved and released for very specific and productive purposes only.

Billions on desalination : Yet these massive releases from Tinaroo Falls Dam happened at the same time as the Beattie government was spending billions of dollars on desalination plants, diversionary pipelines, recycling facilities and so on. This was because for nearly 20 years, ALP governments in Queensland have failed to keep up with the times and to keep up population increases in this state. They have repeatedly failed to understand that drought and flooding rain have always been part of nature and need to be planned for.

Water must be captured: "In this dry state, water must be captured when it falls so that it is available during the dry times. That is only common sense," Long said. Under the water management decisions of the government, Tinaroo Falls Dam was being drained at a phenomenal rate while the south-east was being told to preserve every drop.

Reference: First Session of the Fifty-Second Parliament, Tuesday 22 May, 2007, E-mail: hansard@parliament.qld.gov.au, Phone: (07) 3406 7314 Fax: (07) 3210 0182, http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/hansard/

Erisk Net, 29/5/2007

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