Joanna Gardner, Greens (Group H) candidate, Tweed shire
Three water workshops, with top experts in their field, have presented examples of sustainable water management to both Tweed Shire Council and the community in the past three months.
In the recent water forum and meet-the-candidates, eleven council candidates learnt about a variety of water-saving schemes, then afterwards outlined their different ideas on Tweed water issues.
Crs Youngblutt, Polglase and Skinner were absent from all these meetings.
Many current state and federal policies on water management recommend to diversify and decentralise water supply so you rely on multiple sources of water, reuse water efficiently, and use appropriate water quality for different needs: mains water supply for household use, but to use high quality water for gardens and toilets is a waste when recycled water could be used.
The policies target new urban developments and are best applied at the early planning stages.
During the past three years, this shire has been faced with the two huge development approvals, Kings Forest and Cobaki, for approximately 25,000 people. While council has been marking time, and allocated $3.6–$8 million on the proposed Byrrill Creek dam debate, the Tweed is missing the golden opportunity to apply sustainable water solutions, for our future developments, that would slide back the need for any dam.
A fresh perspective with a progressive new council is what is needed right now.