Friday, 5 June 2009

Inquiry into Melbourne's Future Water Supply #4

Networker Leonie Duncan of Environment Victoria has passed on the information below in relation to the report of the Inquiry into Melbourne's Future Water Supply.   Thank you, Leonie.

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As you do work your way through the report, please note that – while Environment Victoria is generally quite supportive of the work and hopes that it has an impact on the government – in one section there is an inaccurate assertion about Environment Victoria's position and submission on forest thinning as a water supply measure. 

On page 289 of the report the report states that:

"Both the Environment Victoria and Institute for Public Affairs submissions87 noted work undertaken by Marsden Jacob Associates which illustrated that catchment thinning is one of the cheapest water augmentation options -between $0.22 and $0.25.88

While our submission references this work by Marsden Jacob Associates (MJA), the reference in no way implies that we support catchment thinning and if you read both our oral and written submission we very clearly recommend that logging be banned from Melbourne's water catchments by 2010 (see section 3.2 of our submission entitled 'Removing logging from Melbourne's water catchments by 2010' at http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/enrc/inquiries/Water/submissions/058_environment_victoria.pdf.) Therefore we believe the way our submission has been presented is misleading and needs rectification. The fact that we have referenced the Marsden Jacob report does not imply that we support every assertion in that report, therefore the context in which we used that report is critical. As you will see in our submission the context in which we included the MJA table is in relation to "demand management and stormwater and wastewater reuse" (Environment Victoria submission, page 10), and there is no discussion of catchment thinning.

As you may be aware, we turned our submission to this Inquiry into this report, which we published last November: http://www.envict.org.au/inform.php?menu=4&submenu=24&item=1939

If you are interested in government community consultation issues, I’d recommend you read the Auditor-General’s report from April 2008, if you haven’t done so as yet:http://www.audit.vic.gov.au/reports__publications/reports_by_year/2008/20080409_water_infrastructure.aspx

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