Turnbull says 'no dam'
ANTI-dam campaigners battling against proposals for a huge new dam west of Murwillumbah hope Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull has seen the light. But they aren't celebrating yet. Save the Caldera Rivers presi- dent Peter Bennett, whose group wants to stop the proposed dam which would flood the Oxley River and part of the village of Tyalgum, met with Mr Turnbull in Sydney on Tuesday afternoon. Yesterday Mr Bennett said he had "fruitful discussions" and was "optimistic". He would only add that he was "waiting to see the discussion% materialise into undertakings" in writing. "I'm not commenting until we get what we want signed, sealed and delivered," he said. Mr Bennett was invited to the Sydney meeting by National Party candidate for the seat of Richmond Dr Sue Page, who yesterday de- scribed the issue as "a big beat-up about a dam that was never going to be built in the first place". --------------- --------------- She said Mr Turnbull had agreed to provide an undertaking in writing but had verbally "made it quite clear he had no intention to dam Rocky Cutting". Dr Page hit out at sitting Labor MP for Richmond Justine Elliot, saying Mr Turnbull had not been made aware of some of the issues. "Clearly our local representa- tive was not bringing these issues to him personally," she said. "The ALP keep talking about how they are so good at negotiating. --------------- --------------- "They can't even talk to politi- cians in the same corridor." Ms Elliot meanwhile called on Prime Minister John Howard to "visit Tyalgum in person to un- equivocally and urgently rule out this dam". Ms Elliot said she had written to Mr Howard "to show some leader- ship on this issue". "On July 20 Kevin Rudd said he would rule out the dam. The com- munity is just fed up with all this political spin and cunning and clev- er words from Malcolm Turnbull and Sue Page," she said "What are they hiding? At the end of the day we want this dam ruled out." Ms Elliot's letter to Mr Howard on the dam implores the Prime% Minister "to understand the im- pact such a proposal would have on Tyalgum and the surrounding areas". "In light of the continued and in- creasing community concern against your government's propo- sal, I respectfully call upon you as Prime Minister to show some leadership on this issue by visiting Tyalgum in person to unequivocally rule out this dam.