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Back him or lose, warns councillor

Wednesday, 26th April, 2017

Councillor Tom Kennedy. Councillor Tom Kennedy.

By Daniel Stringer

A Broken Hill councillor has stressed the importance of council having a positive relationship with Kevin Humphries, after the Barwon MP turned down council’s invitation to attend tonight’s council meeting. 

At last month’s council meeting a motion was passed by council to invite the State MP to attend tonight’s meeting to discuss issues surrounding the management of the Menindee Lakes.

The invitation was declined by Mr Humphries because, as he writes in his response to General Manager James Roncon, that not only does council not have jurisdiction over the lakes, it also “does not have a collective view”.

“Broken Hill City Council has no jurisdiction over the Menindee Lakes nor its management,” Mr Humphries wrote.

“At this stage Broken Hill City Council does not have a collective view regarding the Menindee Lakes and has failed to support the long term solution to Broken Hill’s water supply, which is disappointing,” he said.

“The fact that some of the Broken Hill councillors’ comments have been misleading and divisive reflects poorly on council and is not in the best interest of the local and wider community.”

The stance taken by Mr Humphries is one that is understood by one councillor, who says council should be supporting the proposal put forward by the Barwon MP instead of playing politics. 

“I can see where he is coming from,” Councillor Tom Kennedy told the BDT.

“What was passed at the meeting last month was that we have Kevin Humphries up here to grill him on the 390/320 reduction in environmental flows.

“Council needs to at this time get completely behind the proposal that has been put forward by Kevin Humphries,” he said. 

“The council instead of playing politics needs to make it quite clear that we support the best option for Broken Hill,” he said. 

The proposal put forward by Mr Humphries last month is widely considered to be the best option for the Menindee Lakes and the community, as Mr Kennedy notes it will mean 80 percent of water will be kept in the top three lakes. 

It is for this reason that Councillor Kennedy says he will be putting to council at tonight’s meeting that they send another invitation to Mr Humphries, this time to discuss what needs to be discussed. 

“I will be moving that council support Kevin Humphries’ proposal for the Menindee Lakes and point out to council that the proposal put forward by the NSW government is not good for the community or the Lower Darling. 

“It will virtually mean the end of the Menindee Lakes as we know it and I will be again moving we invite Kevin Humphries again, just to let him know that we do support him and support him whole heartedly in his endeavours for the Menindee Lakes.” 

According to Clr Kennedy it is critically important that council and the Broken Hill community show their support to Mr Humphries’ proposal, as without it there is almost zero chance of it becoming a reality.

“If there is any chance of Kevin Humphries’ proposal getting up, the Broken Hill council has to be whole heartedly behind the proposal. 

“He can’t go to the NSW Government and promote it when the council has not shown its full support, it would be almost impossible for Kevin Humphries to get his proposal approved by the NSW Government without the support of council and the Broken Hill community.”

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