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No Public Fund Bail Out for Twamley Dam

9 Sep 2019

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment and Water spokesperson

In a time of escalating global heating and record dry levels becoming increasingly normal on the East Coast, residents and landowners need to be assured precious water is available for them first. It is a matter of grave concern that precious freshwater is prioritised for commercial activities like fish farms.

The Glamorgan Spring Bay Council could never afford to build the Twamley Dam - which is being constructed solely to provide water for the commercial activities of two private companies, Tassal and Solis.

With the temporary source at Hobbs Lagoon expected to expire in three to eight years’ time, it’s unclear where those businesses' future water will be taken from without the dam’s construction.

It was never logical or reasonable for a council in one of Tasmania’s smallest municipalities to sign its residents up to a massive debt and potential Treasury liability.

The dam, approved by the previous Council and pushed by the previous mayor, was strongly resisted by locals who were well aware of the huge financial burden it would create.

Current Mayor, Debbie Wisby, clearly understands the long-term financial insecurity for the community of underwriting a $6 million Treasury debt.

The Twamley Dam has been contentious for many reasons, not least for the fact it will collect water from the upstream Tea Tree Rivulet catchment which would otherwise have flown downstream in the Prosser River and into TasWater’s freshwater supply for residents.

East Coast residents need to hear from the Treasurer. He needs to reassure them their water supply is safe and that no public funds will be rolled out to complete the private pipeline that was never financially, environmentally or morally tenable.