Designer Ron Johnson is unhappy about plans to build a water treatment plant behind his property.Picture: BILL COUNSELL
Designer Ron Johnson is unhappy about plans to build a water treatment plant behind his property.Picture: BILL COUNSELL

Water plant ugly and destructive: Resident

By RACHEL SCOLLAY

SURVEYING the idyllic Emigrant Creek Dam from his back garden, Brooklet designer Ron Johnson finds it difficult to visualise the water treatment plant planned for the site. He's also struggling with the associated clearing of the mature forest which flanks the dam and provides habitat for wildlife. "It looks like an aircraft hangar", he said pointing to plans put forward by Rous Water. "Can you imagine an aircraft hangar here? "I can't, and I'm an architect. How can they even have the mentality to destroy this kind of pristine environment?" Mr Johnson, who owns a boutique bed and breakfast overlooking the dam, said plans to replant with rainforest trees after clearing the area, made no sense. "There's already regeneration of rainforest trees in the existing forest and they are all doing extremely well. So what's the point of decimating the whole area to start from scratch?" Mr Johnson questioned whether Emigrant Creek Dam was suitable as a water source, claiming an old cattle dip lay submerged beneath the dam. "All the old timers say this is where they used to dip their cattle and (the old dip) is really obvious when the water level drops. He said the dam was also prone to blue-green algal blooms which made the water toxic. "Any animal that drinks the water (during an algal bloom): it's instant death." Mr Johnson said designing and building the bed and breakfast had been his life's work and he had no intention of selling. His adult children planned to take it over some day. "I want this to stay unique indefinitely. Not to do all this work and have it bastardised by bureaucrats."



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