Chemical Contamination and Reduced Flows Looming
The Tasmanian Greens today called on the Bartlett Government to step in and halt plans to convert forest in Lilydale’s drinking water catchment into plantation, following complaints from Lilydale residents concerned about serious impacts to the quality and quantity of their drinking water supply.

Greens Member for Bass and Forestry spokesperson, Kim Booth MP, said that after more than 100 water contamination incidents in Tasmania during recent years, many of which are clearly related to plantation establishment and management in the Launceston region, it is lunacy to now deliberately remove a forest that is providing clean drinking water to the people of Lilydale, and replace it with a plantation that will require regular applications of toxic chemicals throughout its life-span.

Mr Booth also said the removal of the forested coupe from Lilydale’s drinking water catchment will impact on the quantity of water flowing through to Lilydale, especially during the drier summer months, and the problem will become worse as the plantation trees grow and intercept increasing amounts of water.

“The people of Lilydale are making it clear that they want to protect their water supplies from contamination and reduced flows, and the Bartlett Government must step in and assist them by preventing the conversion of this forest into plantation,” said Mr Booth.

“The area that is to be converted to plantation is inside the Launceston City Council’s water catchment protection zone, and for good reason.”

“The rivers and drinking water supplies around Launceston and Lilydale have reported dozens of positive Triazine contamination events in recent years, many of which are directly related to plantation establishment and management.”

“It is clear that despite assurances from those in the forestry sector, there will be a level of contamination to Lilydale’s water supply if the conversion of this forest into plantation goes ahead, and there will also be a decline in the quantity of water available for the residents, especially during summer.”

“Leaving this coupe as a forest will not only protect the quantity and quality of Lilydale’s drinking water, it will protect the residents from Triazine contaminations that are so closely associated with plantation establishment.”

“The Bartlett Government must do the right thing by Lilydale residents, and step in to prevent this obvious threat to their drinking water supplies,” said Mr Booth.