December 13th 2003

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY : Does a new ALP leader mean a new direction?

EDITORIAL: More Australian industries to be sacrificed

HONG KONG: Pro-democracy party triumphs in HK election

DRUGS: Parliamentary Committee recommends dumping Harm Minimisation

COMMENT: Internet porn's innocent victims

STRAWS IN THE WIND : Somnambulists at the wheel / West and rest / Knopfelmacher's view

LETTERS: Who's looking after NSW's water?

LETTERS: Cane farmers feel 'alienated'

LETTERS: Prohibition never works - says who?

LETTERS: The morning-after pill in schools

LETTERS: Tariff cuts and unemployment

LETTERS: Good counsel

MEDIA: The blindness of the affluent

TRADE: US-China exchange rate battle to affect Australian exporters

WTO: International trade policy: where to next?

BOOKS: AN AUSTRALIAN IN ASIA: Cities of the Hot Zone, by Greg Sheridan

BOOKS: Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, by Simon Sebag Montefiore

BOOKS: The Fields of Coleraine, by Frank Gardiner

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Who's looking after NSW's water?

by The Hon Wal Fife

News Weekly, December 13, 2003

The failure of the NSW State Government and Opposition parties to exercise foresight in relation to another storage dam places Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Illawarra and Canberra regions without adequate water supply for the future.

It is not possible to predict droughts. The time to prepare for a drought is before it occurs.

It is interesting to note:

  • Warragamba Dam was opened in October 1960 by a Labor Government.

  • The then Metropolitan Water Board, under a Liberal Country Party Government in 1966, commissioned the Snowy Mountains Corporation to review the various ways in which the Board's water supply could be augmented.

  • Following this review, a firm recommendation was made to divert some of the water from the Shoalhaven catchment as the most effective way of meeting the needs of the Sydney and the Illawarra regions.

  • Stage I of the Shoalhaven Scheme was completed in 1978. When there is a flow in the Shoalhaven River, water can be pumped from a dam at Tallowa to a storage at Fitzroy Falls and from there it can flow to Warragamba Dam.

  • A design for Stage II of the Scheme, the Welcome Reed Dam, was prepared.

  • There is now a conspiracy of silence on the proposed dam.

The proposed Welcome Reef Dam is capable of holding five times the volume of Sydney Harbour.

Over the next few decades, it would provide adequate protection against record droughts in the future.

In 2001, Premier Carr deferred the construction of the Welcome Reef Dam "indefinitely".

The Opposition made no statement, although, I believe, the Leader of the Opposition, John Brogdon, was well informed on the matter.

To my knowledge, no member of the NSW Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet has expressed public support for the construction of the Welcome Reef Dam.

Who is looking after our future water requirements?

The Hon Wal Fife
Wagga Wagga, NSW

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