Objectors query Cherrabah water

A “LIVELY” meeting was held at Murray’s Bridge Hall Thursday night with landholders concerned with Cherrabah Resort’s water license approval.

Property owners, including Elbow Valley landholder Liam O’Dea, met with representatives from the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) to seek an explanation in granting the resort a license which allows them to use 500 megalitres over 10 years.

“Yes they did give an explanation, but nobody in the room was satisfied that these were valid reasons,” Mr O’Dea told the Daily News.

“They argued that this water was coming from the Stanthorpe adamellites (underground granite formations) in the area which they claimed was not being used by other sources and this could be taken without affecting anyone else.

“I’m not a hydrologist but I have serious doubts that this is true.”

Potentially affected landholders have expressed concern that Cherrabah would be taking water from the same underground systems they use, although the resort’s bores would have to be sunk considerably deeper given Cherrabah is on a hill.

Cherrabah Resort project manager Joe Cheng Zhou contacted the Daily News after Wednesday’s article, wishing to clarify the water allocation figures.

“I state that the right information is that we only got the approval of 500ML water allocation in the next 10 years – that means 50ML per water year,” Mr Zhou said.

In documents obtained by Mr O’Dea, it states the conditions were based on extracting 200 megalitres per year, with the granted license to Joyful View Garden Real Estate Development Resort stipulating the average annual intake to be 50ML, but with a maximum of 127ML in any year until 2020.

Mr O’Dea said this amount was still “more than all the objectors in the room would use together”.

The concerned landholders will meet again next week to prepare their application under the Right to Information legislation to view DERM documents which outline the science behind their decision.

“We’re also looking to obtain the services of a hydrologist and solicitor and pooling our money – it will probably cost between $10,000 and $20,000 so we need all the help we can get,” Mr O’Dea said.

People who wish to support the application can phone Mr O’Dea on 0428 679 000.

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