Environmental groups are warning against the Federal Government’s proposal to pipe water from northern New South Wales to Queensland, saying it is a costly and destructive option.
Prime Minister John Howard and Water Minister Malcolm Turnbull are pushing the plan to dam the Clarence River in northern NSW and divert the water to drought-stricken south-east Queensland.
But the proposal has received a lukewarm response from both states.
Cate Faehrmann is the executive director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, the peak umbrella organisation for NSW environmental groups.
She says the pipeline idea has been around before, but has been dismissed as unworkable.
"Dams are, of course, very environmentally damaging," she said.
"This one, if it’s all about piping water up to Queensland, we need to think about the energy used in that.
"We need to think about the Clarence estuary that potentially will be severely impacted by this."