Mood: not sure
Water is not the only thing being diverted (!) it seems in this otherwise worthy initiative and coverage in the press yesterday with picture stories:
- Water scheme scratches surface - Environment - smh.com.au
- Secret city reservoir to save Sydney from drought | The Daily ...
But then the cynical gene kicks in when your ex ALP ministerial staffer informant with some kind of property interest in the local catchment tells you same day of the big press and tv coverage that $5-10M in pipe infrastructure tapping into the Kangaloon aquifer has been dismantled. And thus the cost of the experiment too.
Kangaloon ..... what the f***? Kangaloon was hyped a couple of years back as one solution to avoid a second dam for Sydney by then state minister Bob Debus, that is in combination with a raft of other water strategies like the one above. The Opposition, being pro dam, hated the idea naturally as indicated by Hansard here Nov-Dec 2006:
Ms Peta Seaton to the Attorney General, Minister for the Environment, and Minister for the Arts—
What is the Government's response to community reference group calls for a five-year moratorium on any proposed taking of water from the Kangaloon aquifer to augment Sydney's supply?
- When will the Government accept the recommended moratorium?
- When will the Government address the specific issues underlying the moratorium call?
- Will the Government agree to subject its assessments to independent scientific evaluation?
The Kangaloon Aquifer has been subjected to extensive scientific investigation over the past two years, and these scientific investigations have been independently peer reviewed. The investigation program and any permanent utilisation of this resource is also subject to the independent regulatory oversight of the water regulator, the NSW Department of Natural Resources. None of these expert peer reviews or the regulator have recommended a moratorium.
I am advised that the technical reports have already been peer reviewed by Don Woolley, an eminent hydrogeologist with more than 40 years experience. The NSW Government also provided funding to the Upper Nepean Community Reference Group so that they could have access to an independent hydrogeologist (Dan McKibbin) for their submission. I understand that neither Mr Woolley nor Mr McKibbin recommended a five-year moratorium.
More Big Media news reports on the issue here:
- Kangaloon Aquifer pumping trial to begin
- A bird and an orchid stand in the way of aquifer project - Drought ...
- Kangaloon aquifer pumping stops temporarily - ABC News (Australian ...
These site specific reports are in the context of this much earlier global plan when Carr was still in harness as Premier:
SMH: All that's left ... Bob Carr yesterday at Warragamba Dam, which received very little of Sydney's rainfall. He is seeking future sources of water for Sydney.
Photo: Dean Sewell
...as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald back in October 2004 Water lifeline meets resistance - Environment - www.smh.com.au
The Kangaloon/experimental aquifers aspect caused alot of controversy too but it wasn't a seat the ALP were worried about:
- Southern Highland News - Bowral news, classifieds and community
- Kangaloon Aquifer Project
- Nature Conservation Council of NSW - Fighting to Save the ...
Assuming our informant is right and the cost of the Kangaloon trial is good money after bad it becomes clear by way of contrast why the water tanks/St James Lake story is so pollie friendly. Minister Rees would much prefer talking about that than the Kangaloon fizzer. Or indeed the incredibly costly, extravagant desalination supply strategy.
But you can't kid all the people or even all the Big Media all the time.