What's the rush on tower?
The article in The Border Mail regarding the demolition of the Wahgunyah water towerraises very serious concerns that all involved refuse to recognise.
The problem is nothing to do with whether it is acceptable to demolish this heritage listed structure or not. It is due to a prominant Melbourne demolition firm with activities over wide areas of that 'hot spot' city travelling up to Wahgunyah during a revival of the Covid-19 virus when restrictions apply. We need to see evidence that any COVID-safe plan is believable.
Your article stated that the structural expectation of the tower's estimated life is at least 15 years. That means there is absolutely no immediate urgency to demolish it just because a tender has been accepted when severe virus risks prevail.
North East Water, like all autocracies, can't see past the end of its nose and the Beechworth-based council apears dismissive of the needs of other outlying areas and both disregard that restrictions apply to everyone, or even seem aware of the need to consider Covid dangers in their transactions, just rationalise exemption.
Wahgunyah's heritage water tower is their very visable icon and could be of significant value to them and also Corowa for some years as a 'visitor' financial attraction during an expected economic decline.
But as is usual, many elected representatives seldom consider or respect the wishes of their community.
Ian Izon, Howlong
The alternatives are endless
Kieran Klemm (The Border Mail letters, October 12) points out that solar photovoltaic (pv) panels are dependent on light. However, there are many other forms of renewable energy that do not depend on direct sunlight.
For example, solar thermal plants, such as Gemasolar in southern Spain, can run for 16 hours in total darkness. Pumped hydro stations act as giant batteries - using pump/generators to pump water from a low storage basin to a high storage using excess power and then letting it back down through the pump/generators when power is needed.
CSIRO has identified 22,000 viable pumped hydro sites in Australia. Distributed wind power across the southern parts of Australia, would always generate, as there is never a wind drought across the whole of Australia. Green Hydrogen (from splitting water) and Biogas (from decaying rubbish/biological waste) can be stored and used when needed.
These are just some of the solutions to back up PV without even thinking of tidal and wave power or batteries. Being the size of Western Europe, with a population one third that of the UK, Australia has almost limitless potential for cheap, clean, constant, renewable energy.
The fossil fuel industry wants us to think we cannot live without it, when in reality we cannot continue to live with it. We need to rapidly transition to renewables now.
Lauriston Muirhead, chair Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH), Table Top
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