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Sunset Strip to vote

Saturday, 8th December, 2018

By Emily McInerney

The residents of Sunset Strip will vote whether to support Barwon MP Kevin Humphries’ proposal for Menindee Lakes.

A proposal was recently announced by Mr Humphries to make Lake Cawndilla the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s responsibility and Menindee Lakes a New South Wales government one.

With the MDBA taking over Cawndilla and providing water to South Australia, Mr Humphries said state government control of Menindee Lakes would provide greater water certainty to locals.

He said he had discussed the issue with Water Minister Niall Blair and described to him how his proposal was the best one for the “Menindee Water Saving Project”.

NSW has submitted to the MDBA a Water Savings Project that would drain the lakes more rapidly, leave just 80 gigalitres in Menindee Lake and replace the Lower Darling with a pipeline.

Last week Mr Humphries said none of this was necessary because Lake Cawndilla could satisfy the lake’s system’s downstream obligations under the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, allowing the other lakes to remain full and in the control of NSW.

The proposal was supported by Broken Hill City Council, but president of the Sunset Strip Association Peter Cox said they were asking residents to vote.

“We’ve sent out a vote to all Sunset Strip residents to vote on it,” Mr Cox said.

“We will see whether to go with it or whether we won’t sign off on it.

“I think there will be a bit of an impact if the vote doesn’t go up - but I can’t see that happening.

“It is a vote so you don’t know which way it will go.

“My thoughts are that the residents will lean towards the proposal.”

Mr Cox said the voting slips had been sent via post and may take a week or two to come back.

“We’re sceptical, (but) the proposal seems alright to me.

“But the water has got to get down here; that’s the problem.

“We will wait until the vote comes in.”

The Strip has seen a decrease in tourists, as the Association recently reported in their newsletter.

“Sunset Strip ended 2017 on a bleak note with the government policy of drying Lake Menindee being implemented,” it read.

“The Bondi of the Outback is no longer. 

“The weekends and holiday periods have witnessed a marked decline in occupied residences and tourists.

“You can voice your opinion at the NSW State Election in March 2019.”

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