Friday, July 6, 2007

Australian PM warns against water complacency The Prime Minister has warned communities not to become complacent after recent good rain on the New South Wales far south coast and Monaro. John Howard was speaking to community and civic representatives from throughout the south-east at a reception in Bega yesterday.

Mr Howard had earlier announced a joint partnership with Bega Valley Shire Council to build a $20 million pipeline from the Bega aquifer to the Yellow Pinch Dam in the shire's south. He labelled water as the nation's biggest challenge. "It is very important as a nation that we don't take our eye off the ball of water security simply because we had a bit of rain in recent weeks," he said.

"There is a great tendency when sometimes you have a problem and everybody is preoccupied with it and then there is some immediate relief and our attention goes off that and goes onto something else. But water security is a long-term challenge."

The Member for Eden-Monaro, Gary Nairn, says Bega Valley Shire can no longer rely on supplies from the Tantawanglo River. He says the project required Commonwealth intervention to get it rolling.

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