Mr Walsh (Water Minister), are you going to wait until it’s too late, before you decommission the alleged Tarwin (Meeniyan) Water Catchment. Until 1990 it was prime cleared beef and dairy country.
It is 1107 square kilometres controlled by South Gippsland Water to provide water to 200 odd people.
The loss of economic activity as a result of South Gippsland Water’s governance should in itself be an issue to a well-run government.
This is no ordinary catchment.
It has six towns and thousands of dairy, beef, and other farmers.
Your planning minister has opened it up as a growth corridor.
More people means 2000, 3000, 4000 septic tanks of raw human excreta heading to the people of Meeniyan and Dumbalk.
I am told that massive chlorine doses fix the water.
However, I have heard that cryptosporidium in the oocyst part of the life cycle is resistant to chlorination.
This comes from cows.
How long will the people of Meeniyan and Dumbalk be able to safely drink this water?
Now if these people didn’t have a choice they would have to take the risk.
But Wonthaggi has 150 to 200 gigalitres of cleaner water available. The total water supplied by SGW is approximately four gigalitres.
You could save the money required for some pipes by doing what you have done with other mergers that create cost efficiencies, and get rid of South Gippsland Water.
I know most farmers would cheer with joy.
We are getting sick and tired of going to all the effort and cost of getting permit approvals from council, DEPI, West Gippsland Catchment, EPA, God, only to be stymied by SGW’s multiple barriers and precautionary principles laws which say that if something may possibly, ever slightly, maybe cause a problem, they say no. Guilty, and no chance to prove yourself innocent.
Ordinarily in a pristine, uninhabited for over 100 years, rainforest like the source of water Melbourne people drink, it’s a great law.
But in the context of cleared farmland, that doesn’t have to be, and should not be a human water catchment. It is just going to continue to be a frustration to farmers. And if someone dies? What happens then?
Labor built Wonthaggi. Do we all vote Labor this year?
Richard Hill, Childers.