The Gosford City Council has moved to reject Coca Cola Amatil’s (CCA) bid to extend its 66 megalitre water extraction rights in the region.


In a statement issued from the Gosford Council, the verdict followed a direct appeal to the NSW Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Small Business, Katrina Hodgkinson, to ‘ equest that she review and withdraw the license issued to Coca-Cola Amatil to extract 66ML per annum of ground water at Euloo Road because the volume proposed to be extracted is excessive and may impact on ground water in view of the findings of the study by the National Centre for Ground Water Management at the University of Technology Sydney’ dated from a 2007 report into use of the aquifer.


The decision follows the end of Coca Cola Amtil’s 2008 extended two-year trial period granted by the council.


In the same resolution, the Gosford council also formally moved to submit a request to the Australian Local Government Association and NSW Local Government & Shires Association that they begin to lobby the Federal and NSW State Governments to place a value on water ‘reflective of the environmental and social sustainability issues incurred in water extraction.’


The blow to Coca Cola Amtil comes as the company begins to review its SPC Ardmona food operations with a possibility of moving offshore. The company’s food operations, which employs about 600 full-time staff and 1,800 seasonal workers, has been negatively impacted by the rising Australian dollar.


A statement released by CCA’s managing director, Terry Davis, blames trading conditions, competition from imported products and an increasingly strong Australian dollar as negative impacts on CCA’s SPC operations.