Sea of strife in water plan

FEATHER IN CAP OF FLIGHT TRAINER

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - TALISA ELEY DARYL PASSMORE

THEY say if you love them let them go, and Bris­bane bird lover Kaya Klaw is an ex­pert at the prac­tice.

Ms Klaw is one of Bris­bane’s only free-flight train­ers, teach­ing her eight par­rots to leave and re­turn through body lan­guage.

“It’s in their nat­u­ral de­vel­op­ment to go off and do their own thing,” she said.

“Ev­ery­thing about birds is de­signed to fly, so be­ing kept in a cage all the time is not ideal.”

Teach­ing birds to free fly is not for the faint-hearted, tak­ing thou­sands of hours of train­ing to get it right.

“It’s a mas­sive time com­mit­ment,” Ms Klaw said.

“The younger you start them the bet­ter be­cause the birds need to be men­tally and phys­i­cally pre­pared.

“Do­mes­ti­cated birds of­ten don’t know about preda­tors or how to get their own food and water, so all that takes train­ing.”

The con­cept of free flight is still new in Queens­land but Ms Klaw now leads the Get Flocked club, with up to 30 own­ers meet­ing weekly along with their birds. WING­ING IT: Trainer Kaya Klaw with her birds. Pic­ture: Jamie Hanson WATER chiefs will look at build­ing a de­sali­na­tion plant on the Sun­shine Coast as a boom­ing pop­u­la­tion and chang­ing weather pat­terns put pres­sure on fu­ture drink­ing sup­plies.

The con­tro­ver­sial idea, which will ag­i­tate en­vi­ron­men­tal and tourism groups, is one of sev­eral op­tions to be in­ves­ti­gated by Se­qwa­ter as it shapes its long-term plan to en­sure fu­ture sup­ply.

The fast-grow­ing Sun­shine Coast – where the pop­u­la­tion is pro­jected to soar by more than 60 per cent to 500,000 by 2041 – has been iden­ti­fied by mod­el­ling as the pri­or­ity for a new bulk water source over the next two decades.

The best wet sea­son for three years has lifted the south­east’s com­bined dam ca­pac­ity to 84 per cent, the high­est level since July 2016.

But Se­qwa­ter act­ing chief Dan Spiller said while Sun- shine Coast dams were now full, they were rel­a­tively small and could be drawn down quickly.

“What is be­com­ing clearer is that in the long run, we are not go­ing to be able to rely on rain­fall alone,” he said. “We will need more cli­mate-re­sis­tant water sources to sup­ple­ment our tra­di­tional dam water stor­ages.”

Pos­si­bil­i­ties con­sid­ered will in­clude a ma­jor water re­cy­cling plant or a de­sali­na­tion fa­cil­ity to turn sea­wa­ter into drink­able water. Other op­tions in­clude in­creas­ing the ca­pac­ity of ex­ist­ing water treat­ment plants, rais­ing the level of Bo- r rumba Dam near Gympie or a weir on the Mary River, as well as large-scale stormwa­ter har­vest­ing at res­i­den­tial and in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ments.

But the idea of build­ing a plant close to the coast­line and world-class beaches will in­fu­ri­ate en­vi­ron­men­tal groups and worry tourism or­gan­i­sa­tions.

And the con­struc­tion of more ex­pen­sive in­fra­struc­ture is set to put more up­ward pres­sure on ris­ing water bills.

Se­qwa­ter is strug­gling to pay off the debt from the $7 bil­lion water grid com­pleted in 2008 to ad­dress the “Mil­len­nium Drought”.

That in­fra­struc­ture in­cluded the $1.2 bil­lion Tu­gun de­sali­na­tion plant on the Gold Coast, which has of­ten been branded a white ele­phant. It has been used only in­ter­mit­tently since 2010 but may be brought back per­ma­nently from 2020.

Com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tions will be­gin this year as Se­qwa­ter pre­pares its next fu­ture water plan, due by 2022.

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