Politics over SEQ water highlights uncertain future (JAN)

16 September 2011

Media Releases 2011

Both sides of politics, in their debate and grandstanding over South East Queensland’s water, highlight

they have not grasped the fundamentals to good resource management and they are not leading South

East Queensland to a better future.

While one side of government solution is to build more dams and the other is to dither over the

consequences of proceeding down that environmentally unsound path, both have forgotten that there are

limits to growth.

Simon Baltais, President of Sustainable Population Australia – South East Queensland Branch, said,

“The Coalition grandstands about water infrastructure and the need for growth; yet, as any good farmer

knows, every property has a carrying capacity and therefore limits to growth.”

“On the other hand, we have the State government dithering,” said Mr Baltais. “While correctly not

wishing to pursue a path of wasting public funds and causing environmental degradation associated with

dams, they too will not acknowledge limits to growth.”

Mr Baltais said, “Building more dams is not the solution, as it will impact upon South East Queensland’s

important environmental values and waste public money. Neither are expensive desalination plants a

real solution.”

“Desalination and effluent recycling are both costly and the time taken to implement them means there

may be some temporary benefits, but only in the medium term. These adaptations offer no solution in

the long term as increasing populations will continually increase demands.

“The only real solution is to acknowledge limits to growth and to develop policies and programs that

will lead to the stabilisation of our population.”

The availability of clean and usable water resources underpins quality of life and economic well-being,

but like most natural assets, water cannot be managed in isolation. With SEQ population projected to

reach 3.7 million in 2025, water will be but one of many natural resources in short supply.

Mr Baltais said, “The State Government wants every person to reduce their water consumption from

about 300 litres a day to 230 litres a day by 2020. While water conservation is good, what happens after


“Will further reductions be demanded to accept more growth?  It is quite clear that SEQ residents are

expected to accept reduced quality of life to accommodate a fetish for growth.  It’s about time both sides

of politics recognise that there are limits to growth.”

Contact: Simon Baltais, 0412-075-334

President, Sustainable Population Australia – SEQ Branch


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