Bushfires spark call for pipeline stop

Bushfires spark call for pipeline stop

11 March 2009

published by www.abc.net.au

Australia — The Victorian Government is being urged to stop building the north-south pipeline because of the effects of recent bushfires on water supplies.

Last month’s fires devastated large areas of land in the Murrindindi and Yea area, in the state’s north-east, including along rivers and dams.

A pipeline is being built through the area and when finished it will pump water from the region to Melbourne.

A resident and member of the Plug the Pipe Action Group, Mike Dalmau, says the water is needed in the region to help catchments recover and for stock and domestic needs.

“[We] either need it to flush out blue-green algae as a result of these water quality issues, or just flushing out some of the fire retardants in the river,” he said.

“We’re going to need every amount and drop of water in our system to make it as safe as possible for everybody who lives on the Goulburn system.”

The north-south pipeline’s project director, Rod Clifford, says construction will continue.

“We’re just going full steam ahead,” he said.

“We’ve just been asked to deliver this important project to Melbourne to bring much needed water savings to the city by the middle of 2010 and that’s our real focus.

“We just reiterate that if there’s any impact from bushfires we expect it will be temporary and the pipeline will proceed in the interim.”

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