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Bourke Council lobbies for water commitment and weir

Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman is lobbying for a bigger and better weir at Bourke to solve water supply shortages in drought. Photo TWH

Bourke Shire Council is lobbying hard on the issue of water security, with just six months of water in storage for the town and the threat of a long, dry summer on the way.

Council General Manager, Leonie Brown, has invited NSW Water Minister Rose Jackson to visit Bourke to see firsthand the importance of a long-term water security strategy.

Council has also been making representation to the Minister’s department on behalf of the Bourke Shire community.

But so far, there is concern about the lack of commitment and direction from the state government on improving water security for Bourke, and the looming probability of water restrictions in the not-to-distant future.

“We are the driest place in the state and once there are no further inflows upstream into the Darling River, we are the first place to go on water restrictions, with only six months’ supply in storage,” Mrs Brown said.

“We are advocating very hard to secure more water storage for Bourke through the installation of a higher capacity weir.

“This will enable the community to have increased security of supply and to capitalise on periodic high flows within the system. The increased capacity will also have a positive impact on water quality.

“We have written to Minister Rose Jackson and invited her to Bourke and also indicated that we are happy to go to Sydney to discuss the issue of water security for Bourke,” Mrs Brown said. “But we would prefer for the Minister to come to Bourke.

“Are we being heard? I think to a certain degree we are, but we are continuing to make representations so it would be very difficult for Bourke not to be heard, and we will continue to do that respectfully.

“Mayor Barry Hollman also spoke to Minister Rose Jackson last week, so it’s small steps and we will continue lobbying on behalf of the Shire.

“We want Minister Jackson to see for herself what the issues are and be on the ground and aware of what Bourke has to offer, and the effects of water cuts on the viability of industries such as tourism, irrigation and horticulture that have been impacted over many years. […]

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