Water Week

EWN Publishing

Brisbane water crisis: claim that State Govt could grab billions of litres of “private” water

Posted by waterweek on 14 September 2007

Although individuals from south-east Queensland were well and truly responding to the requirement to use less water, in the face of a once in a hundred years drought, the worst set of conditions possible, Brisbane might become the biggest city in the Western world to run out of water, said Liberal MP Gary Hardgrave in the Federal House of Representatives on 15 August 2007.

City dams less than a fifth full: “What that will actually mean in its totality I do not really want to imagine, but it is a reality that we have to face with our Wivenhoe and Somerset storage dams at less than 17 per cent capacity,” Hardgrave said. “Let us be plain: the Wivenhoe Dam is not really a water storage dam. It is a very shallow and very broad dam — in other words, it is easy for the water to evaporate.”

State govt could take over private water tanks: Hardgrave said: “A report in today’s Courier Mail outlines the fact that the Queensland government could very easily steal the water out of people’s water tanks because people have no legal ownership of the water that falls on the roofs of their houses and makes its way through the pipe systems that they have installed, albeit in some cases with subsidies from Queensland taxpayers and Brisbane City Council ratepayers. The Queensland government will put a meter on people’s water tanks and take control of those tanks. There is no legal impediment to stop that from occurring.”

Concern for billions of litres of water: “This is something that has been highlighted by … the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources,” said Hardgrave. “But it is not just a Liberal cabinet minister in this place who is highlighting this; the Australian Democrat Senator for Queensland, Andrew Bartlett, has also said that he is very concerned about a possible water grab. There are literally billions of litres of water stored in a variety of water tanks around homes in south-east Queensland today.”

Reference: Gary Hardgrave, Federal Member for Moreton, Liberal Party of Australia, House of Representatives, Commonwealth, 15 August 2007.

Erisk Net, 19/8/2007

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