Uki spring-water bore ‘too close’ to dip site

An aerial photograph showing the proximity of the Chowan Creek Road dip site to Mr Hallam's Rowlands Creek Road bore. Image Tweed Water Alliance

An aerial photograph showing the proximity of the Chowan Creek Road dip site to Mr Hallam’s Rowlands Creek Road bore. Image Tweed Water Alliance

Chris Dobney

A group opposing the sale of spring water from a Uki bore to a multi-national beverage company claims the existing bore is within 500 metres of an old contaminated cattle dip site.

Former Wran government minister Jack Hallam is seeking approval for the deal, which would see him extract 24 megalitres of water a year from the bore on his Rowlands Creek Road property to sell to the bottling plant.

Just two weeks ago the group Tweed Water Alliance told Echonetdaily that Agent Orange used to be stored in a shed directly adjacent to Mr Hallam’s bore.

The group says this new information ‘raises a whole new range of chemical risks.’

Spokesperson Trevor White said it ‘once again calls into question the quality of information provided by the former agriculture minister in support of his development application.’

‘Mr Hallam has failed to inform the council of the contaminated site only 350 metres from his bore.’

According to NSW Water, bores within 500 metres of dip sites are at risk of contamination from highly toxic and persistent chemicals such as arsenic and DDT.

Cattle dips are so toxic that a register is kept of their locations by the Department of Primary Industries.

‘Surely as a former minister for agriculture Mr Hallam knows how serious the presence of a contaminated dip site can be,’ Mr White said.

‘There is no doubt he is aware of the dip site. It is just down the road from his property and all the dip fencing is still in place.

‘Mr Hallam’s failure to notify the council regarding the cattle dip in his development application once again shows the lack of due diligence that has gone into his application.

‘The Tweed Water Alliance is calling on the council to ensure that proper hydrological mapping is done so that the risks of the cattle dip site are understood and contamination prevented.’

A Tweed Shire Council spokesperson previously told Echonetdaily, ‘Council is not aware of any specific request for a contamination report unless it has been raised in the public submissions which have not been fully assessed at this point.’

‘As part of the ongoing council assessment of the DA, council will be requesting more detail on water testing,’ the spokesperson said.

3 responses to “Uki spring-water bore ‘too close’ to dip site”

  1. Phaedra says:

    I hope this DA will be stopped in its tracks. It’s time the ‘good ole boy network’ so rife in politics is dismantled. just because he was a Minister of Primary Industries he thinks the system will favour him thanks to friends in high places (such as Tweed shire council). It will set a good precedent for other DAs in the shire that may be submitted down the track.

  2. Patrick obrien says:

    An ex agricultural minister selling water in the driest continent on earth. Why ?? Just retire already.
    Isn’t the government pension perk enough?

  3. Pamela Smith says:

    Jack Hallams, misleading information to council, has been pointed out in many of the local submissions made to council. He has only pointed out measurements of Rowlands Creek Road at its widest points, not its narrowest.He has made no effort to comment on the inadequacy of the road and bridges affected by his decision
    He has not informed council that his bore site is less than 400 metres from another agricultural industrial bore.It therefore comes as no surprise to me that he has made no effort to inform council of the history of his property or its proximity to the dip site, which is common knowledge.
    I am sure that council who is charged with making an informed decision about such applications would have to have information somewhere in their archives about dip sites and chemical usage.
    I also feel that an informed decision would require an extensive scientific study by council, of the aquifer, that Mr Hallam intends to pump from and how it affects the surrounding water sources and how they seep into each other, along with any chemically affected ground water.
    I beg council not to go ahead with this application lightly, but spend a lot more time finding out the real facts surrounding this matter.

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