Take our water? Be damned
By IAN THOMSON and SALLY GORDON email@example.com THE Federal Government has finally laid its water plans on the table, and the Clarence River is now in real danger of being dammed and the water pumped to Queensland. Federal Water Resources Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday unveiled a report outlining five options for pumping NSW water across the border. Four of those involved sucking our precious water from the Clarence or Mann rivers and sending it to parched areas of South-East Queensland, the fifth involved the Tweed River. The announcement yesterday earned a cautious response from Page Nationals MP Ian Causley, who conceded he had not been told of the announcement until Wednesday night. And while Mr Causley was 'not opposed to the idea of looking at national resources', newly-appointed Page Nationals candidate Chris Gulaptis lashed the plan. "I was disappointed that we seem to be stuck in the same old mindset, that it's a knee-jerk reaction ... there's no water in Queensland, quick, let's build a pipeline from the mighty Clarence," Mr Gulaptis said. John McGuren, of the Clarence River Professional Fishermen's Association, said the proposal was a recipe for disaster. "The Clarence River, the biggest river on the east coast of Australia, is the lifeblood of many industries including, of course, the professional fishing industry," he said. "Now they want to suck 100,000 megalitres a year from the Clarence and send it over the border. It's crazy." Southern Cross University environmental scientist, Kristen Den Exter, said the dam proposal was simplistic and questioned whether the region had water to spare. "Local populations are growing rapidly and we need to look at ways of better managing our own supply," Ms Den Exter said.