NSW Greens Rural Water spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has welcomed the NSW Nationals caving into Greens and community pressure and taking the proposal for a dam at Cranky Rock off the table.
Mr Buckingham said the decision, made five months out from a tight State election, confirms the Greens’ suspicion that the original Needles Dam and the Cranky Rock alternative were nothing more than ‘back of the beer coaster’ proposals.
“Nothing gets between the National Party and hole in the ground or a new dam or both,” he said.
“When the Nationals are under pressure, they quickly fall back on the same formula of more dams, regardless of whether they’re necessary or adversely impact on the community and nature.
“If they’d listened to the Greens years ago when we first raised our objections, the community would have had greater certainty and alternative water security measures could already have been in place.
“NSW does not need new dams, we need smart local water solutions such as stormwater harvesting, increasing efficiency and recycling.
“The Liberal/Nationals have been in government for seven years but they forgot to forward-plan for drought.
“The Nationals are still in denial about climate change despite drought and extreme weather and the reality of its impacts hitting home to many on the land. They are nowhere to be seen when it comes to protecting communities from misuse and theft of water by the mining industry or big irrigators.
“There’s a natural fit between the increasing concern about natural cycles and the need for climate action, which will give farmers and the Greens more in common than ever before.
“The Nationals should be damn worried that regional communities will wake up to the fact they’ve lost touch and vote them out at the next election,” Mr Buckingham said.