Wa­ter con­cerns heard

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS - Bron­wyn Wheatcroft

TABLE­LANDS res­i­dents voiced their anger and con­cerns on wa­ter is­sues in the re­gion at a wa­ter re­li­a­bil­ity pub­lic meet­ing on Mon­day night.

Con­cerns in­cluded the con­stant talk of wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture for the past 20 years but noth­ing be­ing done and money be­ing wasted on stud­ies.

The meet­ing was held by Kat­ter’s Aus­tralian Party (KAP) at the Ma­reeba RSL Club and aimed to hear what the com­mu­nity wanted.

Calls at the meet­ing were made for ac­tion to be taken now and not to waste money on more stud­ies that have al­ready been done.

Famers said they couldn’t af­ford not to wa­ter their crops and they just want wa­ter se­cu­rity for their busi­nesses.

Ma­landa farmer Dougall Mil­lar said he owns a prop­erty on the North Johnstone River and he wor­ried about a pro­posal to di­vert the wa­ter­way.

“I would be very scep­ti­cal and in­ter­ested to see your plans for the di­ver­sion,” he said at the meet­ing.

“My prop­erty is very close to the North Johnstone if not it is on my prop­erty.

“I want to know how the North Johnstone River diver- sion will im­pact those of us on the river.”

Kat­ter’s Aus­tralian Party can­di­date for Cook, Gor­don Ras­mussen, Fed­eral mem­ber for Kennedy Bob Kat­ter and KAP can­di­date for Cook Shane Knuth ad­dressed the crowd of more than 100 peo­ple present.

Mr Ras­mussen said the feel of the meet­ing was that peo­ple want wa­ter which is the life blood of the com­mu­nity.

“They don’t care how they get it, they just want it now,” he said.

“There is wa­ter to be taken from the North Johnstone River di­ver­sion but we have to be smart about it.

“The di­ver­sion is mov­ing some flow into Ti­na­roo as needed dur­ing dry years and dur­ing flood­ing as a back-up mea­sure. It is a short-term fix. The long-term fix for wa­ter se­cu­rity is Nullinga Dam.”

Mr Kat­ter said at the meet­ing that a so­lu­tion needed to be en­acted now.

“We are sick of fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies,” he said.

“There has been mil­lions put into th­ese stud­ies and there hasn’t been a shovel of con­crete put over a gut­ter.” To com­ment on this story: ed­i­to­rial@table­land­news­pa­pers. com.au face­book.com/table­land­sad­ver­tiser

Pic­ture: Bron­wyn Wheatcroft

KAP can­di­date for Cook Gor­don Ras­mussen at the Kat­ter’s Aus­tralian Party Wa­ter Re­li­a­bil­ity pub­lic meet­ing in Ma­reeba on Mon­day night.

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