Sea of strife in water plan
FEATHER IN CAP OF FLIGHT TRAINER
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.