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Green groups opposed to Fraser Island water idea

ENVIRONMENTAL groups have slammed the suggestion that transporting water from Fraser Island may be on the cards, following last week's meeting on Wide Bay's future water supply.

Toby Hutcheon, executive director of Queensland Conservation, has expressed concern that legislative changes including the government's recent revoking of the Wild Rivers Act would allow Fraser Island's water resources to be mined for use across the Fraser Coast.

"Attacking an island inscribed on the World Heritage list for its outstanding natural beauty because it is a cheaper option to provide more water for urban consumption than taking water at a slightly greater cost from Paradise Dam just doesn't make sense," Mr Hutcheon said.

"There are many alternatives to mining Fraser Island water and authorities need to access currently available supplies and to manage demand more efficiently," Mr Hutcheon said.

Local environmental groups have also got onboard with Wide Bay Burnett Environment Council manager Emma-Kate Currie, saying such a move would provide no long-term solution.

"It's a World Heritage site, which means it is acknowledged across the world as an area of outstanding universal value, therefore we strongly believe any move to extract water from Fraser Island will ultimately impact upon its value," she said.

Maryborough MP Anne Maddern, who hosted last week's meeting with regional water resource stakeholders, said sourcing water from Fraser Island was only one option mentioned.

"I seriously believe all options need to be looked at and decisions made as to whether they are viable or not viable, whether they're appropriate or not appropriate," Ms Maddern said.

"I'm saying let's have a look at it, let's have a look at the science behind it and if the science says it's a no-go then it's a no-go.

"If the science says its ok then we'll proceed further in community consultation.

"We need to take the emotion out and look at the science."

Topics:  anne maddern, fraser island, hervey bay, transportation, water, wide bay burnett environment council, wide bay water



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