Politics over SEQ water highlights uncertain future (JAN)
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
“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