Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Water spokesperson
TasWater’s Stage 1 water restrictions that take effect from December 20 in Greater Hobart are extraordinary. It is unprecedented to put restrictions in place well before the hottest and driest part of summer.
Changing rainfall patterns due to global heating mean the Central Highlands and East Coast increasingly face dry conditions. TasWater, and households in the south, are now facing the realities of climate change and its impact on drinking water availability.
The Liberal Government has shown a complete lack of interest in planning for water security. Peter Gutwein, the minister supposedly responsible for government interests in TasWater, didn’t even bother to show up to yesterday’s GBE Estimates Committee.
The Hodgman Government has focussed on handing out loans for Tassal to pipe water to Okehampton Bay from critical East Coast reserves, instead of ensuring a secure drinking water supply for ratepayers. That says everything you need to know about the Liberals’ water priorities.
Questions raised by the Greens about the source of recent elevated nutrient pollution and algal growth in the upper Derwent catchment also remain unanswered.
It is deeply concerning we have a government that does not take climate heating and increasing water scarcity seriously.
If the Hodgman Government doesn’t act decisively now, and properly plan for the climate emergency we are in, this won’t be the last time Hobart faces strict water restrictions in summer.