Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


STATE: Tasmanian Greens Call for an Inquiry into TasWater

THE Tasmanian Greens have called for a parliamentary inquiry into TasWater, after leaked e-mail evidence last week ( Michael Atkin, ABC, TT HERE ) suggests that TasWater may have sought to avoid the scientific findings of MacQuarie University’s study into lead-contamination in Pioneer’s drinking water.


The Examiner’s Alexandra Humphries reported yesterday that MP Andrea Dawkins is leading the charge:

“The reports of TasWater burying research, and potential conflicts of interest, is yet another reason to set up a Parliamentary Inquiry into water governance in Tasmania,” Ms. Dawkins said.

This follows the Tasmanian Greens’ recent stand to oppose TasWater’s minimalist model for the publication of drinking water data.

The Examiner reports that, ‘… Minister for Local Government, Peter Gutwein, said that the State government would wait to see the terms of reference for an inquiry before deciding whether to support it’.

The Examiner reports that, ‘… Labor leader, Bryan Green, said his party would consider the terms of reference carefully before deciding whether to commit’.

But the Tasmanian Greens and the Tasmanian Labor Party are now on the public record together to oppose TasWater’s model for data publication.

The Tasmanian Greens’ policy is that all drinking water data should be published, in real-time.

Scott Bacon, Shadow Treasurer, in his parliamentary speech on Tuesday, April 6, affirmed that the State Labor Party supports the real-time publication of drinking water data. But at this stage, State Labor have not confirmed their support or otherwise for the publication of all data.

TasWater’s model, which is planned to be activated this month, will not publish data in real-time, but rather, quarterly. TasWater’s traffic-light design will publish notifiable data only, but all baseline data will be hidden from public view. (The definition of notifiable data is debatable, because for various slow-acting toxins such as lead (Pb), any result above the guideline value does not necessarily translate to an immediate alert by TasWater.)

The Tasmanian Liberal government presently supports this TasWater model.

The Tasmanian Greens and the Tasmanian Labor Party further assert that TasWater did not consult with Tasmania’s 29 local councils, the sole shareholders of TasWater, about the specifics of the model before approving it for activation.

The idea to develop a policy with regard to the publication of Tasmania’s drinking water data, began as a grassroots campaign and later became a successful motion at the State Conference of the Local Government Association of Tasmania in 2015.

To find out more, please read Tim Slade’s in-depth essay: Tasmanians Say: ‘Show Us Our Drinking Water Data’: HERE

*Tim Slade (B.Ed.) was born in Hobart, Tasmania. Tim has lived at Pioneer, in Tasmania’s north-east, since 2009. Since Pioneer’s 2012 ‘Do Not Consume’ alert for lead-contaminated drinking water, Tim and many of his fellow residents at Pioneer have volunteered their time to lobby TasWater and the Tasmanian State government, with a view to providing safe drinking water for all. Tim’s five earlier essays about Tasmania’s drinking water can be read from the archives at Tasmanian Times. Tim’s essays and poetry have been published in Tasmanian Times, Famous Reporter, Koori Mail, Tasmanian Sagacity, The Henry Lawson Festival Poetry Collection, the Janice Bostock Haiku Award Anthology and Cricket Poetry Award Anthology.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

STATE: TasWater emails show company planned to hit back at scientists (includes earlier links to Tim Slade and Isla MacGregor articles) …

What the Pollies reckon … there are permanent links to what the Greens, Libs and Labs, National and State, say HERE.



  1. A.K.

    April 18, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Yep let’s have another expensive useless inquiry. Why do we need any form of inquiry, we all know the problems we face and all the dumb greens can do is demand more of the same stupid revolving door bureaucratic process.

    What we need is action and you’ll never get it from the greens, libs or labor. Get rid of the fools running Tas water, place water supplies back in the hands of locals and then provide the infrastructure and sterilisation equipment needed and install it.

    Nothing more simple than that, but way beyond the intelligence of the greens, libs or labs.

    We could easily do it by putting prisoners to fully supervised work round the state, to pay back the cost of their incarceration and house them in converted shipping containers, which can be moved from job to job.

    We could fix all rural water supplies within the year that way, and if we keep the bureaucracy out of it, do it much faster and millions cheaper and safer.

  2. Tim Slade

    April 19, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Pioneer was always told that two consecutive readings of lead (Pb)exceeding the limit were required for TasWater to call an alert. We were told this by TasWater and by Cameron Dalgleish, Dept of Health and Human Services. But this year, TasWater’s Water Quality Officer stated several times to me, that this 2-hit test is NOT a prerequisite for an alert. The Water Quality Officer told me that a ‘flexible approach’ is necessary in relation to lead (Pb), because there are no protocols or guidelines for the calling of alerts by TasWater. When asked about Pioneer 2009 – 2012, TasWater’s Water Quality Officer said: ‘That would not happen now… I’m here now.’ This new information, 3-years down the track for Pioneer, serves as the basis for the first item in Pioneer’s Ombudsman’s report, to be submitted next week. This report was released today to all of Tasmania’s Liberal government Ministers. It was also forwarded to the Tasmanian Labor party and to the Tasmanian Greens. SHOW US OUR DRINKING WATER DATA NOW, and let’s have AN INQUIRY INTO TASWATER AND THEIR OVERSEERS.

  3. Derbytas

    April 21, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Tell that guy to start looking for a new job Tim

  4. Tim Slade

    April 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Derbytas, I will do my very best.

    Yesterday I submitted my 130-page Pioneer report to the Tasmanian Ombudsman.

  5. Andrea Dawkins MR posted by editor

    April 23, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Inquiry Would Help Fix Water Problems
    Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Water spokesperson
    Sunday, 24 April 2016

    After our long, dry summer it’s clear that water management in Tasmania needs addressing, and it needs addressing now.

    This week in parliament, the Greens will be moving to establish a Joint Select Committee on water governance in Tasmania.

    Our water bodies have been placed in a difficult situation by local councils and the state government and an inquiry into water governance would be a good opportunity for them to outline their challenges.

    Recently, Tasmania has faced a litany of water problems with an apparent lack of accountability. We need to know what’s going on, water is too important not to get right.

    Water is vital for every aspect of Tasmanian life. Our primary producers, our clean green brand, and the health of our people and environment need to protected and a Parliamentary Inquiry would help do this.

    We’ve already had support from some members of the Upper House for our water inquiry. We hope that Liberal and Labor members will do the right thing by their constituents across the state and join them.

  6. Alison Bleaney

    April 23, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    # 5 ….a Joint Select Committee on water governance in Tasmania? YES!!!! It’s been ever so long in the coming! But let’s make sure you do this properly Tazmania; safe clean and non- toxic water is in increasingly short supply.

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