SOUTH-WEST farmers have not ruled out preventing access to their farms if the state Government accep

12 Apr, 2007 07:00 PM

³We would not rule out any action to deter their plan from going ahead,² Mr McMillan said.

³Being difficult with access is one option we have but in the long run it is up to the individual farmer to take a stand.

³We would think farmers would not be sitting back and taking what the state Government gives them over the Water Corporation¹s Yarragadee proposal.²

Mr McMillan said the government sent letters requesting cooperation from farmers for the pipeline, which stirred some to anger and prompted them to take their concerns to Parliament in the rally held two weeks ago.

³The level of arrogance from the Water Corporation is really painful,² he said.

³Even in the face of numerous reports and no support from Perth or the South-West region they still plan to go ahead with it.²

The Water Corporation¹s proposal is to take 45gL taken from the Yarragadee to help solve Perth¹s water crisis and prevent a sprinkler ban.

The consequences of the proposal are far reaching and would bring to a halt industry development in the South-West and impact negatively on the environment and wildlife.

It would also hurt tourism and may also impact on the property market, with less tree-changers wanting to move there.

Dardanup dairy farmer Jenny Trigwell said all of the farmers in the area were against the pipeline.

³We do not want it at all,² Mrs Trigwell said.

³But I do not think there will be a lot we can do legally.

³The pipeline will run along the boundary of our property under ground.²

Robin Flowers of WAFarmers¹ Busselton zone said the issue was not just about water, but the overall environment of the South-West.

Mr Flowers said drawing on the water from the Yarragadee would impact negatively on vegetation and endangered species.

³What has happened at the Gnangara Mound will happen down here,² Mr Flowers said.

³The community does not trust the Water Corporation and is not satisfied with its scientific data.

³The proposal should not be allowed to go ahead.²

Water availability concerns farmers across the state, but because of the lack of rainfall in the South-West during the past 18 months, the situation has become dire for dairy and cattle producers in the area.

The Yarragadee is a large and old aquifer presently used to supply the water of Bunbury, Eaton, Australind, Brunswick, Busselton, Capel, Boyanup, some agricultural irrigators, mining and industry.

The aquifer is replenished by rainfall and discharges fresh water to the ocean.

About 45gL a year is alrea-dy being extracted from the Yarragadee aquifer and the Water Corporation proposes to tap a further 45gL a year of this resource.

The State Government is expected to give its final decision on the Water Corporation¹s proposal in June.



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