Friday, June 04, 2004


Australia's largest city is running out of water because of Greenie opposition to new dams

"Frank Sartor is relishing his role as The Punisher this week, imposing new water restrictions on the first day of winter, which require Sydneysiders to risk frostbite by watering our gardens in the dark.

The NSW Utilities Minister might prefer we accept the inevitable and simply let our gardens die, bulldoze our swimming pools, stop flushing our toilets, turn our underpants inside out and perhaps flagellate ourselves with the branches of our dead rose bushes.

In the middle of a drought, with Warragamba Dam more than half empty, the State Government is playing on the guilt of Sydneysiders. But we have already been very good. In the first three months of the year, Sydney households cut their water use by an average 29 per cent.

In the North Shore garden suburbs, much-maligned for their "big homes, European-style gardens and swimming pools", people were even more virtuous, reducing water consumption by more than 40 per cent.

But it is never enough. This week Sartor attacked local councils for not imposing more $220 fines on their ratepayers. Level-two water restrictions imposed this week restrict watering of gardens to three days of the week, and only before 9am and after 5pm, prompting complaints from pensioners, the most avid gardeners, that they will catch pneumonia.

But the State Government's increasingly punitive, intrusive approach to water does little to solve the real problems. For one thing, household use makes up just 8 per cent of Australia's consumption of water, so a land of dead gardens, empty swimming pools and frost-bitten pensioners would be little more than a gesture.

And with 1000 extra people settling in Sydney each week, it stands to reason that no matter how well we conserve water, at some point it will run out. The water infrastructure our forebears put in place is in desperate need of upgrading, and yet the Government is doing little but punish its citizens with fines, restrictions and looming price hikes.

Talk to engineers and they will tell you, off the record, that Sydney will eventually need a new dam, and plans should be under way now. But inevitable green opposition makes the prospect difficult and the Premier, Bob Carr, has ruled out any possibility that a dam could be built now or ever, if he has his way.

Last year Carr locked up land that had been set aside for almost four decades for the proposed Welcome Reef Dam on the Shoalhaven River to Sydney's south, which was intended to supplement Sydney's water supply in dry times.

He placed 600 hectares of that land into yet another nature reserve, thus killing off any chance of a new dam there. Despite claims the location wasn't ideal, including that it was in a rain shadow, permanently shelving it without identifying an alternative was arrogant and short-sighted.

For fear of green protests, no one will even talk seriously about the dam that will have to be built one day".


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

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