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.