body bg


‘Drought-proofing’ regional Australia and the rhetoric surrounding Tillegra Dam, NSW

  • Year: 2012
  • Author: Sherval, M; Greenwood A
  • Journal Name: Australian Geographer
  • Journal Number: Vol.43, No.3
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: New South Wales

Water conservation, distribution and management are highly contested in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. During the height of the Millennium drought calls from local politicians and community leaders alike suggested that there was a need to 'drought-proof' not only the Hunter region but also the Australian continent from recurring climatic events. In response to this, Hunter Water Corporation framed its long-term sustainable water policies around the proposed development of 'Tillegra Dam' as a means to ensure future water security for the region. Local residents, centred around the 'No Tillegra Dam Group', opposed the dam, pointing to its harmful effects and more sustainable demand-side options. Scientific studies also indicated that future droughts were unlikely to place stress on current water levels, thereby making the dam unnecessary. Hunter Water, however, co-opted the notion of 'drought-proofing' to argue for the continuation of large-scale infrastructure projects rather than pursue less costly, more sustainable options. As a result, arguments and discourses over the dam's construction became increasingly complex, involving environmental, economic and ethical issues that ultimately favoured local community perspectives. This paper examines how the different stakeholder arguments were framed and considers the important role that communities can play in altering decision making.

Related Items

The Quiet Revolution in Natural Resource Management Community Engagement

The project involved a review of the effectiveness of community skills, knowledge and engagement...

Indicators of community strength in Victoria: framework and evidence

This report provides the underpinning framework and evidence for DPCD’s community development work...

Natural disasters and community resilience: A framework for support

This paper explores the concept of community resilience and outlines recent frameworks and tools...

Share this with your friends

Footer Logo

Contact Us

Level 2, 53 Blackall Street
Barton ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6260 3733
or email us