Coalition lobs Tillegra Mach 2 land-bank bombshell at Newcastle candidate forum

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Greens candidate for Newcastle, John Sutton, said today that a bombshell dropped at a Newcastle candidates forum by the Liberal candidate for Newcastle, Tim Owen, last night threw the Coalition’s stance on the future of Tillegra Dam and Hunter Water’s land acquisitions for the dam into confusion.

In response to a question about water security during the forum at Newcastle city hall, Mr Owen said that the Coalition intended to hold on to the land acquired by Hunter Water for the Tillegra dam in case it decided to build the dam in the future.

“This announcement was a shock to many at the forum, and appears to be a major breach of faith with the local communities who trusted the Liberals when they said that they did not support Tillegra dam,” Mr Sutton said.

“These communities celebrated when Tillegra was rejected, and now – just when they thought it was safe to stop thinking about the threat of the dam – Mr Owen has dropped this bombshell two weeks out from the state election.

“I call on Barry O’Farrell to clarify exactly what a Coalition government would do with the land acquired by Hunter Water for Tillegra dam, and whether he is prepared to rule out any further consideration of Tillegara dam under a future Coalition government.

“Mr O’Farrell owes this to the local communities who fought so hard against the Tillegra proposal, and who are now trying to plan for their post-Tillegra future.

“If – as Mr Owen says – the Coalition is intending to hold the Tillegra lands as a land-bank for a future dam, those communities have the right to know,” Mr Sutton said.

For further information or comment, please contact John Sutton (Greens candidate for Newcastle), on 4969 2668 or 0411 154 004. John’s campaign blog is at: http://newcastle2011.blogspot.com

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