"Robertson retains its rainy reputation" - By Leigh Tonkin
"It's official – Robertson was the wettest place in NSW in February.
"In the Bureau of Meteorology's climate summary for the month, Robertson takes out the top two spots on the rainfall list after the driest summer for 22 years across NSW.
"Rainfall at the Robertson Pie Shop station was the highest in the state with a reading of 430mm. The Caalong Street station wasn't far behind with 407.8mm."
Butler's Swamp -
during the dry period
Journalistic niceties aside, this is an important fact to record, given that the Sydney Catchment Authority has taken advantage of our "significant rainfall event" to persuade the Federal Department of Environment and Water Resources that this was the best possible time to test a theory which the SCA holds about the relationship (or lack of it) between Butler's Swamp and the Kangaloon Aquifer.
Bore Water being discharged
into the Nepean River
In truth, it is absolutely the worst possible time in which to test the relationship, because any test results are being masked by the flooding of Butler's Swamp by rainwater, and the continued leakage (which is physically observable) of water from the surrounding sandstone rock shelves above Butler's Swamp. The local hills are leaking water into Butler's Swamp, and will probably continue to do so for the next few weeks at least, from the basalt capped hill known as Mt Butler, above the sandstone which surrounds Butler's Swamp.
Water being pumped
from 4 bores
The whole test is a joke, designed to serve the pre-conceived outcomes desired by the SCA - to pump water to Sydney before the next election, as promised by Mr Iemma, back in February 2006.
The real issue is the disrespect which the SCA has shown to the Federal Bureaucrats with whom they are dealing, in Canberra. Let us hope that Mr Malcolm Turnbull - the Federal Minister, is prepared to stand up to the bullying tactics of the NSW Government, who are holding his administration up to public ridicule.
It is coming down to a personal challenge between Mr Bob Debus MLA and Mr Turnbull MP.
There is no question as to what is the over-riding legislative power - it is the Federal Legislation. It is a question of political will-power between two opposing Ministers - State and Federal.