Water usage cap likely to be on agenda again

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

Projects such as such as the Kilgariff suburb and the Melanka apartment complex, as well as the ongoing debate about new horticulture, are sure to put the cap on water use back on the agenda.

 

This time the Environmental Defenders Office NT (EDONT) may take part in the debate, making this appeal to the town: Don’t use more water than you know you have.

 

Says the group’s principal lawyer, David Morris (pictured): “We should not raise the cap without scientific knowledge” of the reserve.

 

He says of course that can be taken as an appeal for stepped-up approach to obtaining baseline data for this “most important resource of the region” so that industry and primary production can grow in a sustainable manner.

 

Mr Morris says mining, whose use of water is currently not subject to the Water Act, is a huge potential user, especially if fracking is introduced to local gas production.

 

Mr Morris was also concerned about the ability of the community to appeal decisions made in relation to licences issued under the Water Act stating that “merits appeal rights for the community are conspicuous by their absence”.

 

The Darwin-based EDONT will operate for a week from the Arid Lands Environment Centre in Alice Springs from April 3, to raise its profile in The Centre.

 

The not-for-profit legal centre has its own problems: A Federal grant of $1.2m over four years was chopped from December last year with EDONT receiving just $150,000.  The remainder of all Commonwealth funding will cease on 30 June.

 

Mr Morris says it will be a challenge to keep the group going which gives legal advice to community based NGOs, individuals, traditional owners and community groups on public interest environmental issues.

 

He says EDONT has “a few irons in the fire” for future funding, possibly in connection with universities and philanthropists.

 

An application has been made to NT Government but Justice Minister John Elferink has not been encouraging, referring to “tough times”.

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4 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Cogs
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    “The only ones scared of the truth are those who spread misinformation”. Possibly the most intelligent thing you have ever said, even if it should read “those who spread misinformation are scared of the truth”.
    So when we read “The science is in and the Bu####it is exposed.
    Arid Lands has one agenda – shutting down our town based on fiction not facts” and I note there is not one single fact relating to this topic in those two sentences, it is quite clear who you are talking about.

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  2. Janet Brown
    Posted March 28, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Jimmy Cocking is upset, calling for Steve Brown to be removed from the Water Advisory Committee. Typical of whining extremist. They really do hate the truth and anyone who puts it out there. Keep up the good work Steve (yes, he is my husband!) and the only ones scared of the truth are those who spread misinformation and get in the face of progress and growth.

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  3. Reputation Advocate
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 7:51 am

    So that industry and primary production can grow in a sustainable manner.

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  4. Janet Brown
    Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Let’s be clear we do not need a cap. And the last thing we need is environmental evangelist preaching the sky is falling.
    The science is in and the Bu####it is exposed.
    Arid Lands has one agenda – shutting down our town based on fiction not facts.

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