River group looking to forever

THIS week has been busy for the Save the Mary River Co-ordinating Group with a Mary Valley information night and AGM.

President Glenda Pickersgill said the group’s objective had always been to prevent the damming of the Mary River at Traveston Crossing now and forever.

“We’ve achieved the now and our focus moves to the forever,” she said in her president’s report.

“This is the third time a dam around Traveston has been proposed and we want to be sure that it never comes up on the agenda again.”

While her report celebrated this momentous year it was squarely focused on looking to the future.

“We encourage the valley community to have a strong say in the future for the Mary Valley,” she said. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the past three-and-a-half years, it’s the wonderful power of people working together toward a common end. We need to develop a common vision of how people want the valley to look in 10 or 20 years’ time.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the community at the moment and people want answers. Much of this has to do with the many different situations people find themselves in regarding buying back and leasing of properties.”

The AGM saw the re-election of Ms Pickersgill, along with David Sims, Lyndall Ensbey and David Kreutz in the executive roles.

It was decided that the Save the Mary info centre should continue to operate but on a reduced scale, on Wednesdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm, and look into broadening its educational role.

Ms Pickersgill said the group looked forward to working with Environment Minister Peter Garrett and his department on any plan to develop a regional recovery plan for the unique species and ecosystem of the Mary River.

It is only through involvement and consultation with the community that this plan will have the best on-ground outcomes.

She said it was important to have the proposed dam removed from state legislation, including the Water Act, where it is listed as a drought measure, and that the legislation which was used to justify the proposed dam, the Mary Basin Water Resource Plan, must be revised.

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