Water vote critical for Australia says Don Burke
Don Burke, the Chairman of the Australian Environment Foundation (AEF) today urged all Toowoomba residents to vote ‘Yes’ in the upcoming referendum.
With Australia’s current water situation whether Toowoomba decides ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to be the first Australian city to recycle sewage as drinking water it won’t be the only city to face the issue.
“While the major cities have so far failed to address the issues of water recycling, Toowoomba is leading the country, which is why I am specifically interested…..With Toowoomba’s Waterfutures project we may well see the model that all major Australian cities will adopt in the future and the AEF supports this innovative move,” says Don.
Toowoomba, Australia’s largest regional inland city is situated at the headwaters of the Murray Darling Basin on the edge of the Great Dividing Range and has exceeded the capacity of its current water infrastructure.
The proposal is for Toowoomba to use ‘planned indirect potable reuse’, the same system as used by Singapore and Atlanta. Don Burke says that at the moment Toowoomba’s sewage is actually being used as drinking water.
“Toowoomba’s treated sewage is currently discharged into Gowrie Creek, which empties into Oakey Creek, which then empties into the Condamine River. The town of Dalby draws its water from the Condamine River.”
“Some cities and towns may well be crippled by the drought, but the smart ones will move to protect their water supplies like Toowoomba is doing,” says Don. “If I could vote on the 29th July, it would definitely be ‘Yes’ and not just for Toowoomba, but for Australia’s water future”.
NB The AEF will hold it first Conference over the weekend of the 23rd & 24th September in Brisbane.
Keynote speaker is Mike Archer, palaeontologist, author and Dean of Science at the University of New South Wales, who will plead for the revolution we must have – between the ears and on the land – in our approach to sustaining environments as well as rural and regional communities in a changing world.
Other speakers include Don Burke (Burke’s Backyard), Jennifer Marohasy (Senior Fellow, IPA), Barry Cohen (Environment Minister in Hawke Government) and Michael Duffy (Counterpoint, Radio National). You can download the
brochure at http://www.aefweb.info/