Hi Hal, many thanks for your comment. What the town …

Comment on LETTER: Should we dam the Todd? by Erwin Chlanda.

Hi Hal, many thanks for your comment.
What the town needs to decide is whether or not it wants protection from a so-called one-in-100-year flood (Q100). It would cause major loss of life and catastrophic damage to the town. A flood of such magnitude may now occur more often because of climate change.
There is a solution readily available that is well short of moving the town or blasting the Gap, and that has been exhaustively documented in the Alice News (please google this site).
That solution is a dam at Welatja Therre (Junction Waterhole), upstream from the Telegraph Station.
There are a number of other flood mitigation measures but none are adequate protection from a Q100. These are also discussed in government documents referred to in reports on this site.
I covered 20 years ago the inept handling of the dam issue by Minister Ortmann in Darwin, the decision made in Canberra by Minister Tickner, and a raft of opinions and arguments about the project.
The principal options were a “dry” dam (no permanent lake), which would save the town and was not opposed by some Aboriginal custodians.
The second one was a lake, more broadly opposed by custodians, and not necessary for the town’s safety. Many locals regarded a lake as a desirable amenity.
While the likelihood of lives and property being lost is apparently increasing, discussion about damming the Todd will of course continue.
Erwin Chlanda, Editor, Alice Springs News Online.

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This piece was by-lined as comment.
The Alice Springs News gives you a large platform for comment, so surely it should be availabe to me as well.
As for “fearless, honest journalism” in Central Australia, mine started full-time in December 1974.
Checking out our online story archive, some seven million words, would have assisted to make your comment better informed.
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Erwin Chlanda, Editor