Dear Alan and David,
As you well know, I am a Bridgetown boy.
What might not be so clear is that I am a somewhat radical boy from a very conservative family.
My brothers are upset.
They don’t get upset very often.
My sister-in-law was recently on the front page of that wonderful publication, The West.
She hated being there.
But she had to, because Hester Brook is a vital water source for their farm.
Now her husband, my brother, Jamie, has penned his first ever letter to the press.
It frightened me.
Please read it.
And then, please, take courage, and do the right thing.
The right thing, not the politically expedient thing, the best thing for the future of lawn, but the right thing by the forests, the rivers, and the dairy, fruit and vegetable bowl, that are and is the Lower South West.
My brother writes:
Our property was recently featured on the front page of the West Australian.
The article was about the Hester Brook which had stopped flowing. We grew up in Bridgetown and have lived on this property for 17 years. To our knowledge, Hester Brook has always been a permanent water course. We are well aware of how precious a resource water is and for years now have imposed our own very tight water restrictions, including buckets in the kitchen and laundry sinks and also the grey water, pumped from the washing machine, goes out for the garden. As with most rural properties, we do not have water piped to our property and must use the available water very wisely. We do rely on the water though for the stock, up to 100 head of cattle that we run on the property. Apart from two small dams, Hester Brook is the only source of water for these animals. It was to our dismay that we read the headlines in the West Australian today stating that the Government is going ahead with pumping water from Yarragadee so that the city would not have to have sprinkler bans. The “Suck it and See” approach that has been proposed, at a cost of $650 million, is flawed, especially when one looks at how the Gnangara mound has been managed. The water situation in the South West is already critical and lowering the water table further by the pumping of Yarragadee each year will have far reaching effects throughout the region, social, environmental economical.
Sue and Jamie Doust
PO Box 147
Bridgetown WA 6255
17 March 2007