|6 April 2016
West Coast Council has welcomed Hydro Tasmania’s commitment to engage with the people of the West Coast to better explain its cloud-seeding processes and the science behind the program.
Hydro Tasmania has provided the Council with a draft community engagement plan to address ongoing concerns among some West Coasters who continue see problems with the process and believe that the practice causes much more rain than would otherwise be the case in the towns. People have also raised concerns regarding the chemical aspect.
Mayor Vickers said sceptics remain despite Hydro Tasmania providing detailed information on its website explaining the science behind the program and making announcements via radio on the West Coast on planned and successful flights.
He said the draft plan was a good first step and Council would provide its feedback.
Mayor Vickers has consistently called for better engagement from Hydro Tasmania with the people of the West Coast and has advised senior Hydro Tasmania officers that Council stands ready to assist them to ‘connect’ with the residents and ratepayers of the region.
“This issue was identified during our West Coast Community Plan 2025 project, which highlighted the need for better engagement and information flows on this particular topic. As a result of community concerns, the General Manager and myself attended the Hydro offices in Hobart and heard about the science and the overall program. We also had the opportunity to discuss the need to provide detailed information to West Coasters direct on the practice, to at least allow people to make an informed decision, based on facts, not historical scepticism”.
Improved communication with the people of the West Coast region can only be a good thing and may go a long way towards clarifying the facts on this historically divisive issue for West Coasters.
According to Mayor Vickers, “West Coast Council is willing and ready to work in partnership with Hydro Tasmania to help them connect with our community. We are happy to develop a real engagement process that could see workshops and other activities undertaken locally to inform, advise and clarify what cloud seeding is all about and what negative (or even positive) affects, if any, the practice has on our beautiful part of the world. ”