Anti-pipeline petition presented
Residents want construction of Broken Hill’s $500 million water pipeline to be postponed until inquiries into allegations of water theft and corruption are complete.
Residents of Broken Hill have presented the NSW Government with a petition of 13,300 signatures this week, which calls for a moratorium on the construction of the 270-kilometre pipeline.
The petition says the pipeline makes “no economic sense”, especially with allegations of water theft upstream still to be investigated.
The residents say the Darling River and communities along the waterway are being negatively impacted by irrigation schemes, and that the proposed pipeline will only worsen the issues.
There is concern that the 270-kilometre pipeline will allow the NSW Government to decommission at least three of the four Menindee Lakes, which currently provide water to Broken Hill.
Locals say it is a better idea to upgrade the current 114-kilometre pipeline to nearby Lake Menindee.
NSW Water Minister Niall Blair said through a spokesperson that the Government has “carefully considered every possible option for securing the long-term water supply in Broken Hill and we are now in the process of delivering, with construction under way”.
“The pipeline was identified by experts from DPI Water, NSW Public Works and Infrastructure NSW as the best solution and the consideration involved extensive economic, social, environmental and technical analysis.”
Broken Hill Mayor Darriea Turley says the council has bee calling for a moratorium since last July.
“This is a long-term fight,” Cr Turley said.
“We're not going away just because we're from the Outback.
Cr Turley said the city faces household water bills of more than $500 a year for the pipeline.
“None [of the business case] has been shared with the community,” she said.