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