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Mary River Dam inquiry a microcosm of water debate

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 15 Apr 2007

"The Senate inquiry into the Traveston Crossing dam on Mary River is an important test case which represents a microcosm of the wider national debate about securing our water resources in a drying climate," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.
"It brings together all of the major issues - from rare and endangered species like the Mary River Cod and the Australian Lungfish, to Brisbane's water supply crisis, strong local agricultural industries and economies that depend on the river, the rapid growth of the population of South East Queensland, and the rights of local communities to be consulted."
"With Malcolm Turnbull's announcement this week of plans to pipe water across the border from Clarence River in northern NSW to southern Queensland even more attention will be focused on the appropriateness of expensive and energy-intensive mega-projects as a means of addressing our water security needs," said Senator Siewert.
"The Greens believe that we need to be focusing on demand management options, such as improved water use efficiency, and increased recycling and rainwater capture as well as options like indirect potable reuse," she said.
The inquiry, which will be in Gympie on Tuesday and Brisbane on Wednesday, will consider "all reasonable options" for additional water supplies in South East Queensland and examine their social, environmental and economic impacts.
The inquiry has attracted considerable public interest, with 187 submissions received from a range of interested people and organisations ranging from local farmers to university professors, from engineers to environmentalists, and from local governments to church groups.
Senator Siewert is the deputy chair of the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs Committee.

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