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Do Greens believe that sufficient water can be found for 1.1 million more South East Queenslanders without the Traveston Dam?

A Media Release from the Queensland Greens is reproduced below. Whilst it commendably opposes the building of the ecologically and socially destructive Traveston dam, it astonishingly omits to address Queensland's enforced population growth, which is the principle driver of South East Queensland's water crisis. Given that the Queensland Labor Government, at the behest of the developers and land speculators upon which it depends for political donations, intends to increase the population of South East Queensland alone by 1.1 million by the year 2026, it is difficult to understand how the Greens can maintain that it is possible to find sufficient water for the additional population without building dams such as the Traveston Dam.

Conservation centre poor substitute for Mary River


Queensland Greens Media Release - 10 October 2007

The Queensland government's proposal to build a $35 million conservation centre for threatened species at the site of the proposed Traveston Dam is a poor substitute for allowing these creatures to flourish in their natural habitat, said the Greens today.

"Building a conservation centre for a species you are sending towards extinction is laughable," said Greens lead Senate candidate for Queensland, Larissa Waters.

"Leaked studies by the Queensland government on the Burnett River's Paradise Dam show that dams irrevocably destroy lungfish breeding habitat, and that lungfish aren't successfully using the fish ladders to travel up and down the river.

"Traveston Dam would be the death knell for the 110 million year old Queensland lungfish, one of our iconic fish species.

"The state and federal governments cannot approve Traveston dam in reliance on a fish ladder to save the lungfish, in the face of evidence showing they don't work. That would make a mockery of our federal threatened species laws and of the environmental impact statement under state laws.

"Risking this iconic species for a dam that won't even solve the current water crisis is ludicrous.

"The dam wouldn't be built until 2011, climate change will mean rainfall patterns ensure the dam is even less likely to ever fill up, and it is a tragic waste of good quality farming land so close to a city centre.

"The Mary Valley community don't want this dam, and nor do the majority of Brisbane residents that I speak to. It would be a social, economic and environmental disaster.

"Building Traveston dam would be like noticing your wallet is empty so deciding to buy a new wallet. They don't come full.

"Government should be proposing sustainable solutions to the water crisis, like water recycling, rainwater tanks for every home, stormwater harvesting and demand management," concluded Ms Waters.

For more information contact:
Larissa Waters www.larissawaters.net
0421 844 280
larissa.waters|AT|qld.greens.org.au

Comments

Dear Larissa Waters,

Firstly thank you for your media release

Could you please respond to my comment to your media release which I have
published at http://candobetter.org/node/218

"Whilst the Greens commendably oppose the building of the ecologically and socially destructive Traveston dam, they astonishingly omit to address Queensland's enforced population growth, which is the principle driver of South East Queensland's water crisis. Given that the Queensland Labor Government, at the behest of the developers and land speculators upon which it depends for political donations, intends to increase the population of South East Queensland alone by 1.1 million by the year 2026, it is difficult to understand how the Greens can maintain that it is possible to meet the water needs of the additional population without building dams such as the Traveston Dam."

?

I would like to be able to include your response on my web site.

Thanks

Dear James,

You might like to use an extract of my media release of 16 August which answers your question:

"If we are to get serious about sustainable water supply for South East Queensland, we must do two things:

1. invest in demand and supply management, rainwater tanks, water recycling, stormwater harvesting, evaporation reduction and water efficiency, and

2. ensure that population growth in our region is sustainable. We should refuse to grant new development approvals unless the proponent can demonstrate that the necessary water is available and that planning
processes address sustainable water supplies.

The Greens water supply solutions put to Queenslanders in the 2006 state election have now been backed by a February 2007 report by consultants Cardno, which found that with a combination of groundwater abstraction,
source renewal, desalination, indirect potable re-use and demand management, Traveston Dam is not necessary to ensure South East Queensland's water security."

Kind regards,
Larissa

Dear Larissa,

Thank you for your reply and thank you for pointing out where the Greens stance on population has been stated in that earlier media release. However, it still seems to me that failure to mention population in the latest media release was a serious shortcoming.

The concluding paragraph, again, was:

"Government should be proposing sustainable solutions to the water crisis, like water recycling, rainwater tanks for every home, stormwater harvesting and demand management," concluded Ms Waters.

Anyone not familiar with the earlier media release could easily come to the conclusion that the Greens do not advocate population stability as a necessary precondition for both solving Queensland's water crisis and safeguarding the Mary River eco-system and rural community. Given that Australia is undergoing record population growth, largely driven by an unprecedented unofficial, but real, annual rate of 300,000 per year, and given that the newsmedia and the two major parties are strongly pushing population growth, it is all the more urgent that those in favour of population stability state this clearly and loudly on every appropriate occasion.

Can we expect the Greens from now on to give population stability the much higher profile that I think it deserves?

Thank you,

best regards,

James Sinnamon

Larissa says ...
Larissa is half way there, but, oh Larissa, NO population growth is sustainable in Queensland. You can talk about sustainable population there, but not about sustainable population growth. You know that we have long gone past a safe population level. And to suggest that Queenslanders should put up with desalination and recycling and 'demand management' when you are not prepared to talk about POPULATION STABILISATION AND NATURAL ATTRITION...

Well it isn't green. It isn't anything. It's a cop out!
Nice try Larissa, but needs more work.
Best of a bad bunch, girl...

This is what Larissa said:
"...2. ensure that population growth in our region is sustainable. We should refuse to grant new development approvals unless the proponent can demonstrate that the necessary water is available and that planning
processes address sustainable water supplies.

The Greens water supply solutions put to Queenslanders in the 2006 state election have now been backed by a February 2007 report by consultants Cardno, which found that with a combination of groundwater abstraction,
source renewal, desalination, indirect potable re-use and demand management, Traveston Dam is not necessary to ensure South East Queensland's water security."