Lake Keepit water levelsI am writing this letter to see if there is anything we can do about the water level in Lake Keepit.

Lake Keepit is half an hour from Gunnedah, Tamworth and Manilla in Northern NSW.

The dam was being built at the start of the Second World War and when the dam was being built it was for flood mitigation and recreational purposes.

The dam is used for fishing, sailing and water sports.

The Government sells water to the cotton industry and mines in our local area, which is fine, but I would like to see 20% of the water remain in Lake Keepit and the other 80% can be sold for their industries purposes.

With the water level being as low as 3% at times this affects small business around the area that rely on good water levels for their survival.

The Government has invested millions of dollars on the Lake Keepit State Park and Sport and Recreation Centre and they have no return on their investment when the water levels are impacted.

Has the Government considered diverting the Peel River near Somerton into Lake Keepit?

When the Peel River has an excess water flow, the excess could be diverted into Lake Keepit thus leaving the natural flow of the Peel River continue downstream.

This would enable Lake Keepit to be kept at a reasonable level at all times and more water for farmers, mines and Government.

This may also assist in the foreseeable future, a water supply to town’s in need.

With the water levels at times being so low, all the work that the fishing club’s and community go to releasing fingerlings is severely compromised.

I do think that people that use this Lake for recreational purposes, along with small business that rely on the Lake as part of their livelihood, should have the right to know why we cant leave 20% water in the dam at all times so people can enjoy this facility for whatever recreational reason.

Sidney Knight and Steve Hill


50thAnniversary of the Battle of Long TanToday veterans and the Australian community will honour the service and sacrifice of nearly 60,000 Australians who served in the Vietnam War, including 521 who lost their lives and more than 3,000 who were wounded.

Vietname Veterans Day is commemorated annually on 18 August, and this year it marks the 50thanniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, one of the fiercest battles fought but Australian soldiers in Vietnam.

The battle involved 105 Australians and three New Zealanders from D Company 6RAR. A total of 17 Australians were killed in action and 25 were wounded, one of whom later died of his wounds.

D Company was greatly assisted by an ammunition resupply by RAAF helicopters, close fire support from New Zealand’s 161 Field Battery, together with additional artillery support from the Australian task force base at Nui Dat, and the arrival of reinforcements in APCs as night fell.

Commemorative events are taking place across the country which provide an opportunity for the nation to reflect on the service and sacrifice of the Australians involved in the Vietnam War.

The major commemoration will be the public National Service, to be held at the Australian Vietnam Forces National memorial in Canberra.

On the 50thanniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, we should all reflect on the sacrifice and experiences of the Australians who served their country in Vietnam. We honour and commemorate every single Australian who served in Vietnam. As is inscribed on the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial, today is a day, “for all those that served, suffered and died”.

Dan Tehan

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

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