Water levels – and other drips

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Tourle St bridge wetlandIn the process of looking at Easter getaways online I found a 2012 story about a 15 million-year-old lake system that I’d never heard of. It’s to the west of Sydney and is a series of five lakes some of which remind me of the little pond near Tourle Street bridge (pictured).

It’s part of a World-Heritage-listed National Park.

The system is called the Thirlmere Lakes. Sounds like a lovely peaceful place to go. Except that the water level has dropped to almost nothing.

Locals were so concerned about this that a public inquiry was held into the cause of the lakes drying up.

You’ll be happy to know that it’s the drought that is to blame. The Xstrata longwall mine nearby has Nothing To Do With It.

From Nine news:

NSW environment minister Robyn Parker said the draft report found no direct evidence that mining had breached the geological structures underneath Thirlmere Lakes.

“But there is evidence of groundwater leakage from the lakes towards the east and northeast within the Hawkesbury Sandstone aquifers,” Ms Parker said in a statement.

“The committee, however, found some evidence to suggest mining has contributed to changes in groundwater tables but says it is not possible to disentangle groundwater changes due to mining from those due to bores – and climate variation.”

A January 7:30 report on the story is here  and shows a video of the lakes.

The scientist featured in the story expressed his skepticism about the emphasis placed by the inquiry on studies funded by the mining company.

Sad. Unsurprising.

Engineering office planned for WarabrookAnd in other stories the Lord Mayor has resigned from the Art Gallery committee and said he won’t make representations to the Premier for the $7 million the state promised a their one-third contribution to the redevelopment. In spite of a council resolution saying that’s what he would do.

The picture here is an office/lab/etc planned for Warabrook for a group of engineers, whose projected cost is $7 million. Maybe we need to call their architects. It looks about as inspiring as the gallery extension. Modern, lots of glass, lots of angles, looks simple to build etc. Maybe if we used their design skills we could have back the cafe that  is now not going to be a feature of the gallery and that was supposed to bring in loads of funds.

Karma.

And re other drips: I hear Mr Hodges, Mr McCloy’s campaign manager in the run-up to the council election last year, is not the Lord Mayor’s assistant, as I said yesterday. Some other lucky person got the gig.

GreenpeaceAnd the Rainbow Warrior sailed into port this morning. I’ll have to go and have a look. Thanks to CTAG for the photos.

And if anyone ever offers you Windows 8, run a mile. It stinks.

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