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Byron Shire
August 9, 2022

Water o’ mine

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Miranda Mills, Mount Burrell

Contrary to the opinion of the pro-business bloc of Tweed councillors, not every business is a good business. Have they never been ripped off or taken for a ride like everybody else?

We see that businesses can pocket big profits and deceive customers with marketing propaganda. Businesses can wreck our vulnerable biosphere, causing catastrophic consequences. Business needs strong regulation by responsible governments and compliance officers as well.

Water mining is not an ethical business. For one person’s profit and the profits of a multinational corporation, precious water is stolen from the wider community, potentially affecting many lives.

Information from nationally respected hydrologist, Prof Peter Cook from Flinders University, has brought into question the hydrologist’s report tabled by the council staff and endorsed by the NSW Office of Industry (Water). None of the hydrological tests recommended by CSIRO for mapping and understanding of fractured rock aquifers has been conducted in Tweed Shire. There are no data to support the outrageous conclusion that extracting megalitres of water from the underground aquifer would have no consequences.

In drought times, it is possible that extracting megalitres of water could cause Rowlands Creek, Uki, to dry up. Has anyone considered that Rowlands Creek adds to the flow of the Tweed River for Tweed’s drinking supply?

With so many unknowns and contradictions the precautionary principle must surely be applied.

Blanket approval of Mr Hallam’s DA for water extraction, irrespective of the level of drought, is blatantly irresponsible on the part of Crs Byrnes, Owen, Polglase and Allsop.

Our democratic representatives are there to serve the best interests of all of us, not just a few selected businesspeople.

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