Basin Water Sale a one-off

ABC Western Plains, 20/07/09

North-western New South Wales water users fighting the auction of Great Artesian Basin (GAB) water have been given a guarantee it will be a one-off.

The State Government is pushing ahead with tomorrow’s sale at Walgett of 1,200 megalitres of water saved from capping and piping bores.

But Coonamble’s Anne Kennedy from the Great Artesian Basin Protection Group says a number of conditions will have to be met before any further water is sold.

“The Government’s committed to a review process whereby our organisation

and the Bore Users Association have much greater consultation and input into whole process,” she said.
“That we have some say and also that they will review closely the impact of these licences that are sold at the auction.”

Mrs Kennedy says the Government has also agreed to try to stop traders and investors buying the licences.

“They would make the sale of the licences linked to a works program because everyone agrees small businesses and things should still be allowed to get their licence,” she said.

“We just didn’t think it should be a money driven process, they should be able to apply as they used to and it was based on feasibility, sustainability, impact on the GAB.”

The Greens have joined calls for the auction to be postponed.

Greens’ MP Lee Rhiannon says the Premier should invest in scientific research to clarify sustainable levels of groundwater use.

She says the Government is putting corporate profits before the needs of farmers and the natural environment by selling licences to mining and processing companies.

Leave a Reply

No Comments »