THE planned release of 20 gigalitres of water from Glenbawn Dam to help native Australian bass swim down river to spawn has been postponed until next year. (Read: Glenbawn to Release 20 Gigalitres).
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment emailed water users on Friday afternoon advising them that, “consultation with the community and key water users highlighted general support for the release. There was also some feedback regarding the need to be sensitive to drought affected communities and concern for the water security of these communities.”
Scott Wheatley, secretary of the Hunter Valley Water Users Association and Aberdeen dairy farmer said he was glad commonsense had prevailed.
“You never know when dealing with government departments how it is going to go, but commonsense has prevailed,” said Mr Wheatley.
“It’s better to wait until we know what the situation with the drought is, if it is going to break next year or going to continue and we can hang onto the water if we need it,” he said.
The Department have said they will now form an advisory group with representatives from key water users and the community to assess a release in June 2020.
“They told us that during the consultation and we’ll work with them on that,” said Mr Wheatley.
“I don’t think anybody is against the release, but we are against the timing of it and once we know we have more water it will be different,” Scott Wheatley said.
Information on environmental water allocation on the Hunter River and updates on a new water advisory group will be placed on the Department’s website: About Water for the Environment.