Concerned environmental groups, under the banner of the Belubula River Alliance, are calling on Federal election candidates in Calare and Hume to respond to questions regarding a new dam on the Belubula River. The groups include the Inland Rivers Network, Save Cliefden Caves Association, Orange Speleological Society, Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange and the Australian Speleological Federation.
The Belubula River Alliance have stated that it is essential that voters know the positions of candidates on the regional and national issue of protecting the Belubula River Valley and Cliefden Caves. Scientific research happening at Cliefden continues to demonstrate the unique value of the area, with recent results indicating a large presence of bats inhabiting the caves.
The extent of downstream impacts is also a key concern, with the Belubula River forming part of the Lachlan River system, providing a vital water source for downstream irrigators and wetlands. The Belubula River Alliance will now put the following questions to candidates. Candidate’s responses to the below questions will be publicised as soon as they are received on behalf of this group:
1. What is your position on the proposed new dam on the Belubula River?
2. Are you concerned about the environmental and social condition of the Lachlan River system?
3. Do you believe a new dam on the river will affect the Lachlan River system? If so, will you oppose its construction?
4. If a dam is built, who do you believe should benefit and who should pay for its construction and maintenance?
5. Are you concerned about the potential impacts of a new dam on the Cliefden Caves and surrounding environments?