TERRY Charlton, CEO and Managing Director of Snowy Hydro, confirmed with me this morning by telephone that Snowy Hydro has been making water releases that may have exacerbated current flood conditions in the Murray Darling Basin because of licence conditions imposed by the NSW Office of Water.
Mr Charlton told me that he wrote to the NSW government on April 21, 2010, and raised the potential issue in the licence, the requirement for Snowy Hydro to repay water immediately inflows climbed above a specified long range value.
As recently as last night, December 13, 2010, Mr Charlton was still in talks with the NSW Office of Water asking that this provision in their licence be changed.
“The NSW government appears unable to make any decisions,” said Mr Charlton.
“The situation is ridiculous. We are frustrated. Late last week we pulled back on the water releases but this potentially puts us in contravention of our water licence,” said Mr Charlton.