Margaret Louise, Lismore
I just don’t get it? Why does State MLC, Sam Farraway, want the State and Federal governments to launch an ‘independent study’ into the Dunoon Dam issue? Haven’t we already seen – and paid for! – enough investigation of the solutions to the pressures that a changing climate and growing population will put on the Northern Rivers water supply? What will another study possibly reveal, that has not already been considered, at length?
As Bathurst-based Farraway – only became a member of the Select Committee on Floodplain Harvesting on 29 June, 2021 it seems unlikely that he is truly up to speed with the best strategies for ensuring the water supply in our area. Instead, I suspect his intervention is motivated by a political juggling act that has little to do with our local water needs, and everything to do with rewarding the interests – ‘infrastructure’ – that put him in office!
But unlike most politicians, who pander to every whim of a fickle public, just to stay in office, Rous County Council (RCC) councillors do not care if their decisions are popular – they care that their decisions are the right ones, and backed up by the most up-to-date research available.
Just as State health authorities do not pay much attention to loud protests about mask-wearing, RCC does not use signatures gathered on shopping mall petitions to guide their decisions. Rous councillors are focussed on one job: best water management. They are committed to delivering the most cost-efficient and secure long-term water supply for the Northern Rivers that is possible, and have spent the last two years exploring just that – relying not just on their own considerable expertise in this area, but on the advice of multiple experts in the field.
When will our elected officials stop playing partisan politics, and start paying attention to the science, and to the environmental and cultural values inherent in the site once proposed for a second dam? After extensive consideration, RCC has decided upon the best way to safeguard our water supplies for the future: their current Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy outlines how to do this, and why.
Rous knows what to do, so please – let them get on with the job!