Dam hearings

The public hearings are being held for the Senate Committee inquiry into water supplies in south-east Queensland, which is focused particularly on the proposed Traveston Dam on the Mary River just south of Gympie. There is a fairly full program of witnesses on both days.

 The rest of the Committee spent Monday having a look at the planned site and surrounding areas, which I didn’t attend as I had already visited the area and had a hearing for a different Committee to go to. There is a train which goes every evening from Brisbane to Gympie, so I caught that last night rather than drive – it took about 3 hours rather than the 2 or so hours it takes to drive, but it was more relaxing and I could focus on working rather than driving.

The first day’s hearing is being held in Gympie today. I would not be surprised if it gets emotional at times, as there will be many people from the affected community, and I know the spectre of the dam has had a very traumatic impact on many people. The social impact is already happening and is often forgotten amongst the arguments about the environmental impacts and economics of the dam.

The second day’s hearing is at Waterfront Place in Brisbane, which for those interested in symbolism, is situated right at the bottom end of Mary St – for an inquiry that may influence the future of the Mary River. Having said that, the inquiry is meant to be into water supply issues in general, not just the Traveston Dam, and I hope we get the chance to look at alternative options, rather than just have a party political stoush over one particular dam.

The Brisbane hearing will include a witness whose submission argues there are significant flaws in the state government’s figures on the promised water yield from the ‘other’ dam, the Wyaralong dam on the Teviot Brook, near Boonah south-west of Brisbane. For political trivia buffs, each day will see a former Queensland Democrat Senator giving evidence – John Woodley as one of a group appearing on behalf of the Uniting Church locally in Gympie, and John Cherry in Brisbane in his current capacity as CEO of the Qld Farmers’ Federation.

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12 Comments

  1. Because I havent got one….and I suggested that Russian scientists in their new understanding of polymers then should be part of a plastic development that could handle high temperatures in the Australian sun.It may have also something to do with a wasted petroleum product and a WA. Democrat,having to repeat himself endlessly about using these petro-chemical leftovers.Having lived down in Victoria and maybe met a BHP engineer here and there maybe…I claim a right to get one of these tanks free before any Queenslander.And becauseI dont own any property,could you bear with me as I say……33###########GF.

  2. Bannerman, because the cost of plumbing a water tank into your house supply can be prohibitive, more than the tank itself.

    Because of that, the cost of water from tanks can far exceed other options, like recycling, buying water from irrigators, or even desalination.

    Get a quote on a full tank installation. You might get an unpleasant surprise.

  3. Water tanks cost over $3K to get all plumbed in… multiply thay by every household, and you get $expensive. A dam is cheapear.

    But the big problem with water is that the price is set below the market rate. This does two things: i) It encourages overuse; and ii) discourages production of more.

  4. Gravity feed surely ,plus a bit of try yourself for drinky waters and,DIY is often found in ReNew magazine.In the railway houses I lived in as a boy a simple piece of pipe for cold drinking water and two taps one on the tank,and one inside.A little bit of study should reduce costs,because to claim a particular costing exists is essentially anti competitive practice.If plumbers are going to be used,simply bulk engagements of service,everyone on the street.Ever thought about making a tank out of pine timber and glass liners!?What about learning some creative concreting with new materials that are non toxic,and shape them egg wise!Acommercial tank and there are many and good quality for what they are,doesnt always have to be the choice.A need for tanks could provide new manual skills or old ones put to use.There is also education potentials as hobby ,job,art or community or individual pursuit.Getting together on the matter may mean savings,after all companies want buyers,and if that means bulk purchases,maybe more freedom to negotiate,and more security for sellers.The art and craft or trade skill side is also enormous as potential.What is lacking is imagination.Recyclable harvested water may only need also converted pool pumps for the job.Local swimming pool owners may want to help recyclable harvested water for others,which could simply mean putting water back up on the roofs.To claim expensive,is to deny potentials for ingenuity,and is a bludge of the highest order.Practicality isnt always that for immediate sale or purchase.What a nonsense to go on about the market rate for water.The water cycle never created a market effected by inflation.People use to use pottery ,and skins in all sorts of weird and unique ways.A few boneheads visiting this site Senator!?

  5. “A little bit of study should reduce costs, because to claim a particular costing exists is essentially anti competitive practice.”

    Err… no, it isn’t. It’s simply to state what it presently costs. Of course, there’s nothing stopping new players from entering the market with new ideas/cheaper products (which they probably will, given the high demand) and prices may well come down in coming years.

    “If plumbers are going to be used,simply bulk engagements of service,everyone on the street.”

    Plumbers do have to be used if you have it connected to water system, to ensure no backflow (this is a legal requirement). But plumbers are generally not short of work, and there is a 6-month backlog for most water tanks, so it’s hard to bargain.

    “Ever thought about making a tank out of pine timber and glass liners!?What about learning some creative concreting with new materials that are non toxic,and shape them egg wise!”

    As I said, new players will enter the market with new ideas… they do so because they are motivated by profit. This is a good thing.

    “To claim expensive,is to deny potentials for ingenuity,and is a bludge of the highest order.”

    You’re talking nonsense… pointing out the present cost/benefit in no way “denies ingenuity”. There is nothing… NOTHING stopping new players entering the market – such as yourself.

    “Practicality isnt always that for immediate sale or purchase.What a nonsense to go on about the market rate for water.The water cycle never created a market effected by inflation.”

    You’re dumber than I thought… If there is no market for water, why do you pay for it? Would we have a bigger problem if, for example, we made water free? You bet we would!

    “People use to use pottery ,and skins in all sorts of weird and unique ways.”

    You sound like just another anti-market hippie who want to return to a “simpler lifestyle”.

    “A few boneheads visiting this site Senator!?”

    There sure are…

  6. Fleeced.I do not mind being criticised,and fair enough I say.I will leave it up to you and others if they really want to,about matters of intelligence.The points you make where I fail some basic understanding,however, are not going to be always the case.Do you really believe,for example entering a market is solely dependent on a market expectation of profit!?Trades people are not always driven by the profit motive but earning a living.That is a simple contention of mine that doesnt necessarily conflict with your views.If the costs of a item or series of items from two distinct firms and manufacturers were the same then that could be collusion.I was however seriously attempting to say there, maybe, more than one way to achieve a required result,rather than collusive aspects.Matters of council by laws and matters of water backflow are not necessarily unable to be overcome.It may also be true that the legal use of plumbers means a wait of six months,but,they like everyone else love convenience time saving where money is involved,it simply may not always be a problem if both customer and plumber, as plurals, are better organised at some time in the future.Finally,I am sure you could of found other faults,however,to read about skins as water containers isnt being hippie,which is a word originating in the U.S.A which I always have had a problem in accepting in terms of a description of me.There has never been a illicit drug applied to my hips.I use my real name.Should I ask the same of you? As a knowledgeable person!?

  7. At this rate, we’ll all be dead in less than a year. Only a few months ago, the dams were 30% full. Now they’re only 20% full. Let’s all do the Math on how long that water will last.

    As for the idiots I saw on TV who said the government should start supplying residents with individual water tanks INSTEAD of getting desalination plants up and running, I say “Get a reality check. When no rain falls, water tanks remain empty.”

    I think the best solution is for the Queensland government to IMMEDIATELY put all available financial resources into projects that do not rely on rainfall – e.g. recycling, desalination, diversion of water from anyone/anywhere willing to spare it.

    But first, we need to stop people from using town water on gardens and other non-essential uses. (Perhaps women should be fined for shaving their legs in the shower.)

    We can think about water tanks and dams later. We probably don’t have the time or financial resources to worry about those now. We can recycle grey water to the toilets and gardens.

    For some months, I’ve had visions of tent “cities” lining the river banks, with people beating each other up in the competition for space.

    If I should happen to buy a rainwater tank, I’ll be saving any water for drinking purposes only.

  8. Coral is right in one sense,the whole complexity of water supply has a lot of inertia holding it back,but it may not need vast financial resources,this puts it back in the hands of particular types of people,It is estimatable how much any unit of human use requirement re water use,all the estimates of cost re water utilisation and delivery are known,including legalistic and commercial matters.The sum total of all these insights is a working fracture,that operates against the physical process of water use allocation,in emergency,and delivery.There is a merry go round of senses of being trapped.Having hairy legs isnt going to solve the problem,but may make a less burden in pipes below the bath and shower.I think government is involved in a competition of…my hope is better than yours.I can look out my window and see three large agricultural dams,and I have old holey tanks a failed hot water service,and a disconnect from the national problem.

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