STATE and federal governments should not be putting all their eggs in one basket when considering a dam for the Central West, according to one of Calare’s candidates.
Rod Bloomfield will be vying for the seat at the next federal election on behalf of the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) and has voiced his opposition to one of incumbent John Cobb’s long-lobbied projects, Cranky Rock Dam.
Mr Bloomfield said the risk to the environment at Cliefden Caves meant it was not the best solution compared with raising Lake Rowlands’ capacity from 4200 megalitres to 26,000 megalitres.
“It’s a lot bigger than Suma Park Dam, which is about 16,000 megalitres to put that in perspective,” he said.
“When Tony Perry was Central Tablelands Water’s CEO, he thought Orange could benefit even though the water would be allocated to industry and the agricultural sector - he was talking about the proposal of a network of pipelines across the Central West and he could see the extension of the pipeline up to Orange.
“I think the environmental concerns simply aren’t brought anywhere near the degree when you compare it to Cranky Rock.”
Mr Bloomfield said diversifying water sources was better for secure supply, and suggested more bores and raising the region’s existing dams where it was sustainable to do so.
“Cranky Rock would be 700 gigalitres, that’s a massive dam - I think it’s a concern that Cranky Rock being the size and scale they’re talking about could be seen at various levels as a cure-all and they don’t have to anything else about water security forever and a day, that’s lazy management,” he said.
“Wyangala Dam is very big and it went dry, Burrendong almost went dry and I worry about that.”
WaterNSW has $1 million in state funding to undertake geological, economic and technical feasibility investigations at Cranky Rock and Needles Gap, which is due in March.
Mr Cobb was unable to respond prior to publication.