Back to the drawing board on water planning

p2121-David-MorrisLETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – We recommend that the NT Government go back to the drawing board on water planning and recommit itself to the Agreement on the National Water Initiative.

 

The current approach has failed. It failed in the Supreme Court and it has failed in the eyes of the community.

 

It is time to write the last two years off as a bad experiment which has resulted in unsustainable and inequitable allocations of water outside of the nationally accepted framework.

 

We recommend using legal mechanisms to build community trust and create a level playing field in NT water planning.

 

We are pleased the Government has decided to have this discussion, but the elephant in the room is the almost absent discussion of the impacts of climate change.

 

It’s trite to say that these impacts are going to have a significant impact on water resources and infrastructure in the future.

 

We recommend law reforms to require decision makers to consider the impacts of climate change (such as sea-level rise and major storm surge events) as we plan for the future of the Territory’s water resources.

 

Our submission also promotes a shift in focus away from the current push for dams and other centralised water infrastructure projects in the North.

 

Instead we recommend that the Government focus on mechanisms to manage demand and drive innovation.

 

David Morris
Principal Lawyer
Environmental Defenders Office

 

 

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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 August 1, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Trouble is Steve Brown, a “politician” can cause a great deal of longterm damage before we get a chance to “kick them out”. Like when someone does a hatchet job on the Water Advisory Committee.

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  2. Steve Brown
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:58 am

    @ Chris: Politicians are elected and can be kicked out when we don’t like what they have to say.
    I don’t have anything against lawyers nor however do I see them as some “holier than thou” bringers of a better and more trustworthy level of oversight.
    I prefer oversight that is directly answerable to the people, don’t you?

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  3. Chris
    Posted July 19, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Steve, I don’t disagree that you can’t manage infrastructure development around fanciful outcomes, but I would have thought the “world’s most mistrusted profession” are politicians.

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  4. Steve Brown
    Posted July 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Just what the Territory needs another lawyer trying to create more red tape and bureaucracy justifying the need by waffling naive mumbo jumbo.
    You can’t manage infrastructure development around fanciful outcomes.
    You have to deal with reality. Not fanciful cries of “the sky is falling”, made in mischief by lefties pushing an anti establishment barrow.
    Climate change or no climate change we need more dams to supply our growing population, in fact if the doomsayers are correct and we are getting hotter and drier, then there is an even more urgent need to build more dams and water infrastructure.
    As for the public placing more faith or trust in legal mechanisms, overseen by lawyers of course, you are joking aren’t you!
    When the world starts placing decisions about future infrastructure requirements in the hands of the world’s most mistrusted profession, lawyers, we won’t need spiraling climate change to finish us off, well already be headed for hell in hand basket.

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