Bottled water: Concerns aired at Beechworth public meeting

TEMPERS were tested when up to 200 people packed a public meeting in Beechworth last night to address growing community concern about the use of groundwater for bottled water in the area.
Organisers, Indigo, Alpine and Towong councils kept a tight rein on the meeting, keeping the question and answer section of the forum brief and to the point.
Even so, the depth of emotion was apparent as supporters and opponents of the bottled water industry strongly argued their case and, on one occasion, started talking over the top of each other.
She believed the water should be kept at its source for agriculture and community use rather than used for bottled water while Alpine Mayor Ron Janas expressed concern on the impact and cost of the trucks used to transport water on local infrastructure.
He described the water as “liquid gold” for some and said there were moral and ethical concerns over its use.
New Towong Mayor, Aaron Scales told the meeting he was worried about local amenity.
He gained support from a number of speakers in the audience who claimed tap water was a health risk due to the chlorine and fluoride added to it.
He said despite the monitoring of the aquifers by authorities we didn’t really know what was happening underground.
“We mess with aquifers at our peril,” he said.
“They are a life-giving force.

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