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Friday, March 09, 2007

Kangaloon Aquifer Update - and my personal political position

Firstly, in case you have not caught up, the pumping has started. It is from 4 bores, at present, but soon, a further 3 bores will come on stream (bad pun).
This is because the Sydney Catchment Authority managed to convince Malcolm Turnbull's Department that the "best possible" time to test whether the so call "perched swamps" (such as Butler's Swamp) are in fact groundwater dependent ecosystems (i.e., related to the Aquifer, or simply dependent upon rainfall) is after the huge amount of rain we received in February.
course, Butler's Swamp is totally flooded, and continues to get topped up every time we have another thunderstorm. One month's testing (in February and March) will tell the SCA absolutely nothing. The "trial" is a complete farce.
If you wish to follow this in more detail, I invite you to check out the Save Water Alliance website - specifically the reports under the heading : "The campaign so far":
Needless to say, we shall be going back to Canberra in a week or so, to try to persuade the Federal Dept that the SCA must be stopped, Of course, this is not going to be a simple argument to win. We need all the help we can get - technical advice from geologists, hydro-geologists, etc as well as moral support.

This weekend the Save Water Alliance will be at the Robertson Show (Friday 9 and Saturday 10 March). By the way, whoever decided that Friday and Saturday are regarded as a "weekend" in Robertson?
We shall have a small stall there somewhere, with Save Water Alliance paraphernalia - hats, Cow Cartoon T-Shirts for sale (see photo), and other bits and pieces of literature to hand out.

If you are able to come along, say hello, and grab some brochures to take home with you, to hand out elsewhere, and to spread the word, that would be great.

This is a public campaign, and if enough people get involved in this case, it is still possible that the Federal Minister (Mr Malcolm Turnbull) can be persuaded that he ought show his credentials as an Environmental Warrior, by taking action re the Kangaloon Aquifer, under the EPBC Act.

It is absolutely clear that he has the power (it is black letter law). It is a question of political will power.

As for the State political situation, it appears possible that the political cause is lost already (at the State level). However, in the case of the Kiama and the Goulburn Electorates, the issue is still wide
open. I first spoke with Matt Brown, privately, about this matter, on 13 November. Matt has been absolutely loyal to the Party line, (the "Sussex Street Party Line" - that is).

In other words, Matt has been disloyal to the local people of the Southern Highlands (those of us within the Kiama Electorate), who are concerned about the pumping from the Kangaloon Aquifer. I have yet to find a single local person who supports this pumping - and goodness knows, I have spoken with lots of them.
So, what are we to do?
When Matt Brown comes to the Robbo Show, might I suggest that you respectfully take the opportunity to tell him how "Piss Weak" he has been on this issue. Personally, I was amazed when he got up and spoke at the Bowral Meeting last week, and claimed that he had acted as a "conduit" on this matter?
A Member of Parliament is meant to be a Representative of the people of his Electorate - not a "conduit".
If we wanted a conduit, Matt, we would hire a Plumber.
I am happy to accept responsibility for any political content in this post, because I personally sought Matt Brown out on this matter ages ago, and politely and quietly told him how important this issue was, and warned him that it might become a hot issue in the local area.
He chose to deny the truth of what we were saying about the Aquifer pumping taking shallow water which would damage the environment. He tried to down-play it then and has continued to do so, ever since. Thus, my current opinion is entirely a response to HIS lack of support on this issue.
For the record, I have been a Labor voter all my life - but I shall not be voting for Matt Brown in this election. Well, that is, unless Matt Brown suddenly finds out from his staffers how to use the telephone, and rings someone powerful in Sydney, and gets the pumping stopped - between now and 24 March 2007.
I am not telling anyone how to vote in this election - that is not for me to do. But I am happy to declare for whom I shall not be voting - and why.

See you all at the Robbo Show.

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