By Luis Feliu
Campaigners against controversial water mining in the Tweed Valley have vowed to continue their fight to ban all commercial extraction and bottling operations in the wake of Tweed Shire Council’s vote last week reinstating a prohibition on the activity.
The Tweed Water Alliance says the decision is an enormous win for Tweed residents and the ‘flood of water mining applications will now drop to a trickle’.
But the group admits the state government has to ratify the move to include the ban in Tweed’s local environment plan, and fears two major proposals being assessed and causing concern, at Dungay and Uki, could be left out of the prohibition.
Council has sought legal advice over liability if the two development applications are included in the ban.
Tweed Water Alliance spokesman Jeremy Tager said they should be rejected, and ‘whatever expenses council incurs in refusing these applications will be far less than the cost of these developments proceeding’.
‘Residents will realise there is no public benefit,’ he said.
Mr Tager said the issue of water extraction had struck a raw nerve with locals in the way coal-seam gas (CSG) exploration and mining did and many people were opposed to it.
He said the community would stand up in the same way to fight water mining.
The group says there is no evidence looking into the environmental impacts of water mining in the Tweed, no mapping of aquifers or how bores are linked to them, nor catchment studies into local proposals.
There are currently 12 approved water extraction and bottling approvals or applications throughout the Tweed Valley (See previous stories:)