Letters to the editor

Elliston bore clarification

SA Water would like to clarify information contained within a recent letter to the editor by Bramfield resident Tim Jones which appeared in the West Coast Sentinel, June 28 and Port Lincoln Times, July 3.

SA Water customers in Elliston on Eyre Peninsula are supplied drinking water from the Bramfield Basin.

We source this water in accordance with the Water Allocation Plan (WAP) for the Musgrave Prescribed Wells area, which is set by the Department of Environment and Water (DEW).

SA Water does not supply drinking water to the township of Bramfield and we are not currently or have not recently drilled any bores in the Bramfield area.

As part of our commitment to enhancing the security and quality of drinking water supply to the Elliston community, we recently constructed a new production bore within a road reserve just off the Birdseye Highway in Elliston.

The Elliston community has been advised of this work.

The new bore is within an Environmental Protection Zone, which was established to protect the availability of water for the local wetlands.

We are not seeking to increase our extraction from the local aquifer, so the bore’s construction will not change the existing interaction between our bore field and the wetland system.

The new bore will provide us greater operational flexibility in managing the quality and characteristics of the groundwater resource by balancing extraction over a wider area of the aquifer at a lower flow rate.

We will undertake our normal rigorous water quality testing of the new bore before it’s brought online to contribute to Elliston’s drinking water supply.

We will also continue to monitor all of our production bores in the area, to assess how the aquifer system responds to this new infrastructure.

As part of our comprehensive state-wide water testing regime, we continually monitor and test the groundwater supplied to customers in Elliston, which consistently complies with all health parameters in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Up-to-date water quality data on commonly-requested parameters, collected from routine sampling including customer taps, is available on the SA Water website.

All of our customers can use this site to find detailed information about what’s in their drinking water by postcode or suburb.

For more information on SA Water’s work in the Elliston area, people can contact SA Water on 1300 SA WATER or email project@sawater.com.au.

MARK GOBBIE

SA Water, asset operations and delivery general manager

Where is the funding for nuclear jobs?

Bruce Wilson’s response to my letter about the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWF)complains about “tired old chestnuts” being trotted out, but yet again he fails to address them.

Where is the cost benefit analysis of Australia expanding its nuclear waste production?

Where is the funding for the 45 jobs? I wish there could be 45 jobs locally, but given this is a storage and disposal facility – a dump – a lot of job titles does not actually explain what people are going to do.

A little history is useful.

In 2010 Department of Resources radioactive waste management section manager Patrick Davoren said the facility would create six full-time jobs.

"That's just the numbers that you need to maintain a 24-hour guard of two people". 

It would also need counter-terrorism officers if radioactive waste of "safeguard significance" was to be stored there, he said.

In 2006 Senator Trish Crossin asked in Senate Estimates how many jobs would be created from a radioactive dump in the Northern Territory.

The reply: about 30 construction jobs and six ongoing jobs for security.

This is hardly an economic boom for the region, given the potential social and environmental impacts of the long-lived intermediate level waste.

In 2003 the federal government's public relations company Michels Warren noted:

"The National Repository could never be sold as "good news" to South Australians. There are few, if any, tangible benefits such as jobs, investment or improved infrastructure."

Only 24 years ago the community around Lucas Heights, who have been in Hawker telling us how positive it is to host the facility, were taking ANSTO to court to get rid of the Woomera waste (then stored at Lucas Heights). 

That same waste will come to the NRWMF.

The PR spin has changed, but the radioactive waste stays toxic for 10,000 to 100,000 years.

That “tired old chestnut” is the real issue.

There was more honesty before public votes were needed.

MARGARET BEAVIS

Brighton

Letters to the editor

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