ALPINE, Indigo and Towong communities are being invited to participate in a Beechworth forum to explore cross-boundary concerns about the impact in the three North East shires of groundwater extraction for bottled water production.
The councils are already collaborating to develop a shared approach to planning scheme changes that could allow each municipality to define the ways in which the cost of water industry impacts on community infrastructure – such as local roads – might be managed or recouped.
Indigo has now invited Alpine and Towong councils and communities to take part in a forum on November 23 to be addressed by Huw Kingston, a highly regarded Australian entrepreneur and adventurer who instigated a successful campaign in 2009 to make his New South Wales town of Bundanoon the world’s first bottled water-free community.
“There are many of us – in councils and communities – in this region who are concerned about the impact of the bottled water industry on agriculture, community infrastructure and our environment,” Indigo mayor Jenny O’Connor said yesterday.
“Huw’s willing to come and talk with our communities about what they’ve done in Bundanoon and the broader issues around water security.
“He’s very inspiring and interesting and has done extensive work to build awareness of this issue and its effects on all of us.”