Hon Michael Costa, MLC
Minister for Finance
Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
Sydney 2000

August 18 2005

Dear Minister,

Cost of proposal to raise Tallowa Dam in Kangaroo Valley

I am concerned about the high and unnecessary cost of raising Tallowa Dam, and draw your attention to conflicting information from SCA (see attached letter to Minister for the Environment).

In the past, an average of 70,000 million litres a year (70 GL/y) has been pumped from Tallowa Dam to Sydney in drought years. Considerably more could be pumped in wet years, without raising the dam at all. In fact, 140 GL has already been pumped in one year, and that was during drought.

According to SCA (to Shoalhaven Community Reference Panel, 24th October 2005, power point presentation, slide 15) SCA propose to pump an additional 90 GL/y from Tallowa, making 160 GL/y in all. They argue that the dam must be raised by 7 metres to achieve this: we say this isn't necessary.

In any case, the limiting factor to pumping more water from Tallowa is not the dam but the bottleneck in the Southern Highlands. The existing pumps can lift 2.4 GL/day from Kangaroo Valley up to Wingecarribee Reservoir. But the Wingecarribee River and the Glenmurray Gap can each move only about 0.5 GL/day to Warragamba and the Avon Dam, respectively.

So if the Government is determined to spend more capital on inter-catchment transfers, then build the planned 20-kilometre pipeline to the Avon Dam first and see how much you can pump!

I hope I have convinced you of the need for extensive public consultation, and a full EIS concerning the proposed raising of Tallowa Dam.

We are pleased that the Hon. Bob Debus has agreed to attend a public meeting in Kangaroo Valley on 28th November. It will be a good opportunity for him to assess presentations both by SCA and by KV residents on this critical issue.

Yours sincerely,

(Dr) J. F. Skidmore
for Lake Yarrunga Taskforce

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