RISING FAST: State population counter shoots ahead.
RISING FAST: State population counter shoots ahead.

State of Madness Qld refuses to curb development, despite water woes

Sally Gordon, Rodney Stevens and AAP

FORGET the Smart State, Simon Baltais believes Queensland is descending into a State of ??Madness. Spokesman for Sustainable Population Australia, a group which aims to encourage debate about how to achieve sustainable populations, yesterday called on the state??s government to examine ways of capping the region??s population to help save its dwindling water supplies. He said efforts to reduce water use in south-east Queensland through strict level five water restrictions were being eroded by the Government??s support for population growth. ??We??re being told to conserve water, yet any reductions we make by way of consumption is whittled away by population growth,?? he said. ??So you can only describe it as madness, in that we??ve been asked to get less and pay more for it, but by the way we??re handing on anything we save to others who come that we??re inviting ?V so it??s quite a state of madness.?? But Queensland Deputy Premier Anna Bligh said a population cap was a simplistic solution that would place pressure on the economy. ??The only way we could really do that is to put a fence up at the (Queensland) border, or to cancel or freeze all new home building approvals,?? she said. ??That would have a very serious impact on the construction industry that a lot of people rely on for jobs. The solution from our government??s point of view is careful, long-term planning for growth, not freezing of growth.?? South-east Queensland??s population is projected to increase to 3.96 million people by 2026, an increase of 1.18 million people or average growth of around 60,000 people each year, or 1150 people each week. The Government??s south-east Queensland regional plan aims to cater for the extra million people expected to settle in the Sunshine State in the next two decades. Last week Gold Coast City Council strategic growth committee chairman David Power suggested to The Daily Examiner, like electricity, water could be part of a national grid. ??If it is good enough for electricity to be on the national grid then why isn??t water,?? he asked Clarence residents. Mr Power also expressed his ??disappointment?? that some Valley residents were against sharing water from the mighty Clarence. ??I??m really disappointed that anyone from one side of the border or another is talking about restricting the essence of life for another area,?? he said. ??We??ve made it clear to the Tweed in the past that if they get into a situation where they??re in dire straits ... we??ll be there to help.?? Mr Power said the area??s population increased annually at the rate equivalent to the same number of people who live in Warwick, Queensland. It is because of this, he??s adamant the Gold Coast City Council is leading the way in south-east Queensland for sustainable growth, despite what many of the Clarence Valley??s political representatives have said in recent days on the northern State??s rapid development. Since the Howard Government unveiled plans to pump water from the Clarence and send it to drought-stricken south-east Queensland, many of our local politicians and residents have clearly stated they would not support any river diversions that could damage the health of the Clarence to fuel unsustainable growth across the border. ?? Clarence Valley mayor Ian Tiley said the suggestion by Mr Power that water should be part of the national grid was ludicrous. ??Transferring water is about transferring natural river flows,?? he said. ??Water is part of a natural eco-system, it belongs in its catchments.?? Cr Tiley said to establish the infrastructure to transfer water would be an extremely costly exercise. ??It (transferring water) hasn??t got the affordability of transferring power,?? he said. Cr Tiley believed it was clearly obvious south-east Queensland was at crisis point, particularly in areas south of Brisbane. ??If they don??t have the water resources they have an unsustainable situation,?? he said. ??There is a great need for councils to work with State and Federal Governments to accelerate water efficiency measures.?? The Valley mayor believes the Valley has no water to spare. ??All water in the catchment is needed for the environment, for the ecology -- to flush the river for fishing and to flush the river to put alluvial soils on the flood plain,?? he said. ??There is no spare water; that??s what it is about .?? Mr Power said the Gold Coast City Council had known for the past 20 years the Hinze Dam would not provide enough water, prompting the city council to embark in partnership with the State Government on a desalination plant and introduce the world??s largest urban water conservation project. He claimed that ??contrary to popular belief the Gold Coast City Council tended to be about 10 years ahead of everyone else who was looking at managing water resources??.

Sally Gordon, Rodney Stevens and AAP

FORGET the Smart State, Simon Baltais believes Queensland is descending into a State of ??Madness. Spokesman for Sustainable Population Australia, a group which aims to encourage debate about how to achieve sustainable populations, yesterday called on the state??s government to examine ways of capping the region??s population to help save its dwindling water supplies. He said efforts to reduce water use in south-east Queensland through strict level five water restrictions were being eroded by the Government??s support for population growth. ??We??re being told to conserve water, yet any reductions we make by way of consumption is whittled away by population growth,?? he said. ??So you can only describe it as madness, in that we??ve been asked to get less and pay more for it, but by the way we??re handing on anything we save to others who come that we??re inviting ?V so it??s quite a state of madness.?? But Queensland Deputy Premier Anna Bligh said a population cap was a simplistic solution that would place pressure on the economy. ??The only way we could really do that is to put a fence up at the (Queensland) border, or to cancel or freeze all new home building approvals,?? she said. ??That would have a very serious impact on the construction industry that a lot of people rely on for jobs. The solution from our government??s point of view is careful, long-term planning for growth, not freezing of growth.?? South-east Queensland??s population is projected to increase to 3.96 million people by 2026, an increase of 1.18 million people or average growth of around 60,000 people each year, or 1150 people each week. The Government??s south-east Queensland regional plan aims to cater for the extra million people expected to settle in the Sunshine State in the next two decades. Last week Gold Coast City Council strategic growth committee chairman David Power suggested to The Daily Examiner, like electricity, water could be part of a national grid. ??If it is good enough for electricity to be on the national grid then why isn??t water,?? he asked Clarence residents. Mr Power also expressed his ??disappointment?? that some Valley residents were against sharing water from the mighty Clarence. ??I??m really disappointed that anyone from one side of the border or another is talking about restricting the essence of life for another area,?? he said. ??We??ve made it clear to the Tweed in the past that if they get into a situation where they??re in dire straits ... we??ll be there to help.?? Mr Power said the area??s population increased annually at the rate equivalent to the same number of people who live in Warwick, Queensland. It is because of this, he??s adamant the Gold Coast City Council is leading the way in south-east Queensland for sustainable growth, despite what many of the Clarence Valley??s political representatives have said in recent days on the northern State??s rapid development. Since the Howard Government unveiled plans to pump water from the Clarence and send it to drought-stricken south-east Queensland, many of our local politicians and residents have clearly stated they would not support any river diversions that could damage the health of the Clarence to fuel unsustainable growth across the border. ?? Clarence Valley mayor Ian Tiley said the suggestion by Mr Power that water should be part of the national grid was ludicrous. ??Transferring water is about transferring natural river flows,?? he said. ??Water is part of a natural eco-system, it belongs in its catchments.?? Cr Tiley said to establish the infrastructure to transfer water would be an extremely costly exercise. ??It (transferring water) hasn??t got the affordability of transferring power,?? he said. Cr Tiley believed it was clearly obvious south-east Queensland was at crisis point, particularly in areas south of Brisbane. ??If they don??t have the water resources they have an unsustainable situation,?? he said. ??There is a great need for councils to work with State and Federal Governments to accelerate water efficiency measures.?? The Valley mayor believes the Valley has no water to spare. ??All water in the catchment is needed for the environment, for the ecology -- to flush the river for fishing and to flush the river to put alluvial soils on the flood plain,?? he said. ??There is no spare water; that??s what it is about .?? Mr Power said the Gold Coast City Council had known for the past 20 years the Hinze Dam would not provide enough water, prompting the city council to embark in partnership with the State Government on a desalination plant and introduce the world??s largest urban water conservation project. He claimed that ??contrary to popular belief the Gold Coast City Council tended to be about 10 years ahead of everyone else who was looking at managing water resources??.



Daily Catch-Up: January 18, 2021

Premium Content Daily Catch-Up: January 18, 2021

Today's local weather, funeral, and other notices in one place.

MONDAY ROUND UP: Latest sport results and scores

Premium Content MONDAY ROUND UP: Latest sport results and scores

Catch up with the latest sporting news from Clarence Valley sporting clubs.

Changed traffic conditions for this week

Premium Content Changed traffic conditions for this week

Maintenance and finishing work will take place on the Pacific Highway this week, as...