We packed the Robertson School of Arts Hall tonight.
We had an audience which was very patient, and they were keen to hear what we had to say about the Kangaloon Aquifer . Just about everybody was on side with us, which was great.
Naturally, as there is only one Government in power (in NSW) our criticisms of what is happening, are sheeted home to the current Government. I personally do not wish to make that the issue of itself.
But the NSW politicians lead themselves open to such criticism, when, like the local Member for Kiama, Mr Matt Brown MLA, they insist that they are only taking "deep water" (which would be below the reach of plant roots). But tonight I was able to distribute the SCA's own charts of various bores, which show that the bores are fitted with permeable "screens" or slots wherever a water bearing layer is located. In the most extreme case, one bore has slots to allow water inside the pipes, from 11 metres down. That is shallow in anybody's terms.
Sorry Matt, but whatever you may believe, or may have been told - they are taking shallow water - with potentially catastrophic consequences on the environment.
In fairness to Matt Brown, he did arrange for me to meet with the SCA yesterday, which was very kind of him.
Pru Goward (Liberal candidate for Goulburn), spoke about how the Liberals would not pump Kangaloon water to Sydney. As I had addressed this very issue in a recent letter to the editor in the local Southern Highlands News, I asked her would they turn off the pumps the day after the election? She could not say that they would turn off the pumps, but repeated that they would use the water locally, but not put it into the Wingecarribee Reservoir. How would that work, Pru?
My point is simple. From the point of view of the environment, how does it improve the fate of a swamp, if it is being drained by the local community, instead of the water going to Sydney.
I can see how Sydney-based Liberal Party spin doctors might think that it is a reasonable strategy to offer local candidates to try to win over the population. Certainly, some people have signs saying "Don't send our water to Sydney". But I am making an environmental point, not a political case. And the Liberal Party's "solution" is no solution at all - not to the environmental issue. It makes not a scrap of difference to the swamp, or the Gum Tree, or whatever. A dry swamp is a dry swamp, no matter for whom the water was drained. The environmental damage is the same. As I said, the Liberal Party's policy is not a solution to this problem.
It is a typical out-of-touch city person's policy. It misses the point entirely.
The pumps must not be powered up. And if they are, then we need to get them stopped.
My mate Jim Foran sent me a "crit" (he is so astute - he saw it as a theatrical performance, which in many respects it was). So I came home to find this in my email box:
"Denis was invariably brilliant, down-to-earth, succinct (an important trait on an evening with some other speakers who were much less so), modest, humourous, low-key, and above all factual."
-- Jim Foran
Thanks are also due to George, for a nice message on the machine, when I got home.