PROTEST: Tweed Water Alliance members protesting against water extraction in the shire.
PROTEST: Tweed Water Alliance members protesting against water extraction in the shire. Richie Mamando

A water extraction company gets green light, two don't

TWEED Councillors have voted to allow one water extraction business to keep operating while stopping another two from continuing at the council meeting on Thursday.

Councillors voted on three development applications for three separate businesses.

The businesses were forced to apply to change their development conditions after continuous problems with non-compliance.

The new applications would remedy the operations the businesses were currently doing instead of what they were previously allowed to do.

These changes included truck movements, sheds and pumping equipments.

The issue of water mining has been exploding in the Tweed as hinterland residents and Greens have protest against the industry on sustainability grounds and the use of big trucks to cart the water from the properties to bottlers in Queensland. Councillors first refused the application for the water extraction business at Dungay Creek Rd because trucks have to travel over private property to get to the business.

The Karlos family's application for their business at Urliup was the next to be refused despite council officers recommending it be approved. Mayor Katie Milne said the business should be stopped because it was in a "beautiful area” and the water extraction industry was not sustainable.

Cr James Owen asked the councillors to not made a decision until the State Government's chief scientist had finished the inquiry into the environmental impacts of the industry in the Tweed.

His request was rejected, for the second time Cr Milne, Cr Chris Cherry, Cr Ron Cooper and Cr Reece Byrnes voted to refuse the application.

Cr Byrnes changed his vote for the third application, for the Mount Warning Spring Water business at Kunghur.

"My hope is from today this company will comply and the future water extraction industry is very limited here going forward,” he said.

"I have spoken to the applicant this evening and they are quite happy to provide that water metering data.”

Cr Byrnes motion was supported by Cr Pryce Allsop, Cr Owen and Cr Warren Polglase.

The decision was met with boos from the gallery which was full of Stop Water Mining supporters.

Matthew Karlos said his family would lodge a review of the decision which would keep his current approvals in place until another decision was made.