A Griffith group’s push to send an extra 1000 gigalitres of water down the Darling River is gaining momentum with Bourke Shire Council jumping on board.
The Clarence River Diversion, originally mooted in the early 1980’s by engineer David Coffey and buried by the Hawke government, was resurrected by Griffith councillor Dino Zappacosta and the Build More Dams committee. Cr Zappacosta said he was pleased Bourke council was supporting their campaign for state and federal governments to carry out a feasibility study.
“Bourke Shire Council is fully supportive of the plan,” he said.
“They actually said many years ago they tried to get water from there.”
The scheme, if it went ahead, would see a number of dams built high in the Clarence River catchment, west of Grafton. From there, collected rainwater would run through the Great Dividing Range in an 80-kilometre tunnel and flow into the Dumaresq River before eventually finding its way into the Darling River.
Cr Zappacosta said it was a better way to permanently solve Broken Hill’s water situation than NSW Premier Mike Baird’s proposed $500 million pipeline and it would also alleviate Murrumbidgee irrigators’ water woes by taking the load off the river.
“There would be a direct benefit to users of Murrumbidgee water and that would flow on to the communities of Griffith and beyond,” he said.
Cr Zappacosta had written to other councils west of the Great Dividing Range about the scheme and it was on the agenda for the upcoming Western Division Councils’ meeting.