Recently it has come to my attention that a petition is circulating which aims to keep Lake Keepit water storage at no less than 20 per cent once it recovers.
Prolonged dry times have put a huge amount of pressure on the Namoi River catchment and others, prompting difficult times for those with a range of vested interests in water use. As Member for Parkes, I represent all members of the community in the electorate and I have been intently listening to all sides of the conversation.
When it comes to water, factual debate is needed; not emotive knee-jerk reactions to an increasingly complex matter. We must consider the needs of all water users and members of the community, and a petition that attempts to keep a significant amount of water in Lake Keepit comes with disregard to other communities in areas downstream such as Gunnedah, Boggabri, Narrabri, Wee Waa and Walgett.
78 per cent of water in the Namoi River is reserved for the environment, and of the water that flows down the Namoi from Keepit, only 14 per cent is used for irrigation. These are facts worthy of consideration.
The drought comes with a plethora of significant challenges but as we enter unchartered territory this year with prevailing dry times, we must exercise caution and remember that the water in our rivers belongs to many communities – not just one.
Anna Tickle 0400 050 729