Water pipeline for Point Sturt

16 August 2009

Regarding the letter 'Lakes No Longer Required' by S.Murphy of Goolwa
the following statement was made regarding pipelines around the Lower
Lakes '...with the exception of Point Sturt they have to wait until

If this were true, the residents of Point Sturt would have cause to
celebrate. In fact, the residents of Point Sturt will only know in
September (now slipped a little into October) if there are sufficient
leftover contingency funds available from the creeks pipeline to fund
their project.

Only then will the process begin that may (with no guarantees as yet)
lead to a pipeline. A certainty of leftover funds will begin the
consideration of the business case followed by the process of tendering,
ordering, surveying etc. None of this has been done and so the residents
and farmers of Point Sturt are being guaranteed no water this summer by
a government who states they consult but hasn't (at least not since
August 07).

We will thus not have any water, if at all, until well into 2010.

Senator Wong has clearly indicated that the SA Government provided a
'list of priority projects' around the lower lakes. Evidently Point
Sturt was not included. We are thus being effectively penalised for
heeding the advice of three SA water officers who told community members
at a meeting in August 07 'not to bother' applying for water.
Apparently, also according to Senator Wong (July 24th ABC radio 891)
decisions on who to put forward to Canberra were made 'on the basis of
representations made to Rann and Maywald.' The Government that
repeatedly says they consult told us nothing about this.

Our Water Minister, callously indifferent to our needs, stated in a
recent letter (17th July) that 'we could do that (connect to SA Water)
right now' if we paid $100,000 per property. She, in coming from a rural
electorate herself knows how insulting such a comment is. She knows we
haven't got that kind of change.

Our Water Minister also stated in estimates in early July 'As I have
advised .....those communities in written correspondence, probably
September (referring to the date when contingency outcome of creeks
pipeline may be known) ...' The trouble in the time frame referred to no
such correspondence was received by anyone in this community, either
from the Water Minister or from anyone purporting to represent her.

Our Water Minister who claims to consult won't even reply (as at
16/8/09) to a request to attend a meeting to answer questions.

So, even though it is clearly the fault of our State Government in
failing to identify our need to replace water previously provided for
over 150 years through access to Lake Alexandrina, it is also beyond
belief that they will not now simply fix the problem nor provide any
assistance with water carting in the interim. This, especially in the
light of the cheapness of the project at only $3.4 million.

For this reason we are seeking an urgent meeting with Premier Rann as
our Water Minister, who consistently refuses to answer key questions,
clearly has no intention to act in good faith, nor to fulfil her
'...undertaking to conduct a thorough open and transparent consultation
with the community on all projects.' (Hansard -DWLBC estimates hearings

The actions of our State Government in relation to Point Sturt water
appear typical of so much else -once a decision is made and a course of
action decided nothing will change their mind even if the decision is
wrong and will cause suffering, economic hardship and even danger (fire
hazard as cattle are removed and long uneaten grasses dry) to widows,
families with children and farmers alike.

Peter Doecke, Point Sturt.