Sunday, November 8, 2009

MP criticises interstate water loss

Adrian Pederick makes a good point in this article. I am very interested why the sudden reluctance in getting on with this job across the whole basin.
I was interested recently that Professor Mike Young almost defended the Federal Minister on this point when in fact it was statistics from his publications that actually got me a bit fired up on this topic in the first place. My photographic trips continue to show a lack of decisive action to stop evaporation and wastage.
Any water saved for the system actually will allow each of the stakeholders a better chance at sharing in the improved management off the resource. The sort of "well it is going to happen response" from the Federal Minister really is not good enough. This issue is urgent so get on with it. Apart from anything else it is a good infrastructure project.
At the AMCHAM luncheon recently Minister Wong referred to the reversing the Clarence River Project. That is not what any of the projects have suggested. They are purley flood mitigation programs when the Pumps can be turned on only when the River is in flood. The project I have seen had Hydro Electricity built in to assist in offsetting the cost. Again our Eastern Seaboard is in massive flood and damage and if we only pumped during these periods the problems on the other side of the range would be fixed.
Minister Pederick how do we get some action?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Iraq rattled by Snake Plague

This recent article I found while researching for another of my Passions "Living with Wildlife" goes to show that the issue of water is going to become a global problem.

Because the Turks have taken control of the flow of the Tigris and Euphrates by over zealous damming and allocation to their own needs, Iraq is experiencing water shortages as a result. So much so that Snakes as inhabitants of the marsh lands of the lower reaches are now desperately seeking alternative refuge. This I am sure can only lead to stressed relations between the two countries in the future. I wish them luck when we are now relying on two not over friendly Governments negotiating to resolve this issue. We cannot even control a fair flow for all under our Federal Government System and have to still sit by while State Governments act totally selfishly and foolishly on our Murray Darling issue.

Indeed it is said that the Garden of Eden was actually located at the joining of the Tigris and the Euphrates. It has only gone down hill from there as each power that has controlled the region has done nothing but destroy the agriculture and livelihood of the region, including the salting of the region by the Genghis Khan.

Just as a post script my experience with snakes is that they rarely attack. Generally they are shy and may be forced to defend from time to time. The snakes of Iraq include Vipers a species not found in Australia and two or three varieties of Cobra, an Elapid which is closely related to the most common species of Snakes found in Australia, including our Brown, Tiger and red- bellied black snakes.

The snake pictured is an Arabian Cobra and for any information on this please visit this site - Snakes of Iraq

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Well I have not written for a while and am so fed up with Politicians doing nothing.

I would like to pose a question for Senator Wong - a resident of South Australia. If the good Penny owned a property in the Adelaide Hills and decided the lovely creek running through her property would solve all of her personal issues and dammed the creek. Dammed it so well that water very rarely flowed past her property.

Let me assure her that the laws of this state would instantly require removal of the dam or at least release of sufficient water to allow her creek to flow.

The fact that Cubbie Station holds 530,000 gigalitres of water on its own is stunning. That is the entire Water drawn for Irrigation in the State of South Australia. Let us not also forget that Cubbie is but one of these massive storage facilities now located at the top end of the Darling.

Also as per previous articles written here the University of NSW did a survey of the Murray Darling Basin and found over 2000kms of illegal Dams and levees throughout the system. Why are these not being forcibly removed.

The fact that Cubbie even has a value is largely due to the Queensland Government rushing through legislation five minutes before they handed control to the Federal Government simply to protect the evil that had already been done. Please the motherhood statements being uttered by the Queensland Premier I found rather cynical I am afraid.

Senator Wong there is a solution but it requires strong action from Government to ensure that everyone including the Aussie Battler gets a fair go.

Friday, May 29, 2009

NSW stalls water buyback scheme

The link to this article is worth a read.

New South Wales, where a study by the University of New South Wales showed that there are over 2,500kms of illegal levees and dams just in NSW. Oh please this complete abuse of Power is absolutely disgusting. Why has a Government ignored this illegal abuse and now condones their actions further by pure "bloody minded" belligerence.

The Federal Government must act now and take control of all Water Allocation of the Nations Major River System.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Water Trading - should it be stopped?

I am not going to be making a lot of friends with this one and I would also like to hear from anyone who reads this in the form of a comment or opinion.

It is my humble opinion that water trading is indeed the one thing that has finally exacerbated the whole dilemma of the Murray Darling Basin and should be suspended immediately.

It is also my opinion that the water of the system belongs to the Crown. Any property certainly has an asset in the form of the allocation that attaches to that property and the allocation may well be able to be transferred with the property itself. The asset takes the form of that property being able to draw an allocation from the River. I am not sure how this license ever became a tradeable commodity.

If a property ceases to operate or draw from the River then I believe that the License to draw water reverts to the Crown.

So why do I believe this - the infrastructure that has been built that allows for the Rivers to flow has been built by Governments and therefore funded by the Crown and therefore the Taxpayer. The Government therefore owns all of the water and only allows a license.

The day that we allowed the water trade to take effect was the day that the over allocation took its toll. Water that had been allocated and not used was now being drawn from the River.

It is therefore my strong opinion that a) Water Trading should cease forthwith, and b)all Water should revert to Crown ownership and all parties that draw from the River should reapply for a license to draw water based on demonstrable need.The allocation can then be allocated on a much more equitable and workable basis.

The problem areas will be quickly identified and there may well be a need to assist those that have acquired massive amounts of water to extricate themselves from debt and seek to change the income earning structures that have been falsely allowed to grow in areas where perhaps they should not. In truth it is the only way we can possibly return an equitable use of this limited resource. The need to protect the environment and economy can indeed work but it will need only occur if decisive action is taken.

I encourage you to comment on this article.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Watch this and weep

Regina Durbridge - "The Summerhouse" has produced a number of Videos regarding the lower lakes of the River Murray - I can do little more than invite you to view this.

Then I can ask you to write, ring every Politician you know and more importantly to contact South Australia's elected representative in the Senate. Senator Penny Wong is first and foremost elected by the voters of South Australia and must now listen to her electorate and do something more than to sit and watch this disaster unfold before our eyes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Budget allocated hardly any new money for River Murray

The above is a headline from the Adelaide Advertiser and is available to read in the Shared Items alongside this blog. I remain absolutely aghast and it is time that the population of Australia started to deliver the message more aggressively.

Channels like the one that appear in the heading of this blog are literally covering the Murray Darling Basin in Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales. South Australia removed their Channels some 30 years ago. The saving in lost water from evaporation and seepage would indeed go a long way to reinstating environmental flow, as a minimum, to the River Systems. Infrastructure programs to put these channels into pipes, incentive programmes to encourage better farm practice and incentive programs to remove agriculture and horticulture that require flood irrigation techniques would go even further to correcting the problem.

The employment opportunities in creating these infrastructure programmes are enormous and the benefit to Australia's GDP even greater.

The dozen's of projects that have been presented to the Murray Darling Basin Authority, over decades, to further consider environmentally friendly Flood Mitigation Programmes from Northern Rivers that would again deliver more than enough water to the basin have fallen on deaf ears for too long.

We must bring this matter to the urgent attention of the Prime Minister, Senator Penny Wong and Peter Garrett MHR and it is time that they actually did something about fixing this crisis

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Broadband - No water????

How come we can announce a Broadband Roll Out with no feasibilty study or Public Acceptance document in place. We can happily say we do not know who is going to invest and equally state that the blow out is in essence inevitable and normal for Government Projects.
We can liken it to the Snowy Mountains Authority Scheme and still we tell the Australian Public it is to expensive to pump from Northern Rivers into the Murray Darling Basin.
The Murray Darling Basin is one of the largest contributors to the GDP of this country and we have been "screwing" it up for decades.
If we simply pumped from the Northern Rivers while they were in flood and managed more strongly the allocations along the River we could - a) Create Jobs, b) protect an existing and growing portion of this Countries GDP, c)demonstrate responsible government in managing the environment.
In those three items alone surely the answer from Government that it is simply too expensive seems to be a very holey argument. In these time of Governments injecting money into the economy this makes a whole lot more sense than setting up a Broadband Network that Private Enterprise will roll out anyway as the need requires.
Enough talk more action.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Silence is Deafening

I recently drove to Sydney and I have to say it just makes me cross. As you drive through the Riverina and witness the massive open Irrigation Channels you cannot help but think of the evaporation and seepage waste that goes on in this system. To witness out of date irrigation systems is so frustrating.
And then there are the floods in the Northern Rivers and remember the plans that I have seen for flood mitigation to be directed to the inland rivers which will simply assist in making the whole issue go away and the blood begins to boil.
Can anyone tell me why in this time of economic restructure that a Government sponsored redevelopment of these old and out of date systems cannot be seen as a very worthwhile way of setting Australia up for the future.
I am frustrated that we have heard nothing for months from Senator Wong who seems to have forgotten this is her portfolio as well as an elected representative of the people of South Australia who are suffering so badly.
The silence is killing us all - Did anyone here the penny drop?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Well Nick pulled it off - but it still only scratches the surface

You have to know I think this stand was quite good. The Federal Government has been conveniently avoiding this issue and Senator Sherry's little bleat we are handling it elsewhere does not cut the mustard. Well done Senator Xenophon at least we have some action.

It actually intrigues me that it was Senator Sherry who open fired on Nick Xenophon - surely it should have been Senator Penny Wong. Dear Ms Wong where is the longer term fix for this what strategy is taking so long and why can't we start capturing some of this damaging floodwater and firing it into the Murray Darling Basin and when are you going to take serious steps to rebalance the stupid overallocations in some of the upstream regions.

In the meantime in the face of the nation Senator Nick Xenophon has actually achieved something that has not happened ever - action on the River system

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mr Xenephon I am very proud of you.

I have previously been most critical of Mr Xenephon in this blog. Click the heading on this blog to find out why I am actually pleased. It is great to see him stand firm on this matter. If the Murray Darling is not essential Infrastructure what is it. The basin produces a very large portion of Australian Food Exports and the Government lethargy on this matter is most frustrating.
For Senator Nick Sherry to say the Government is handling this issue elsewhere is pathetic, when are we going to hear about it - this matter has raged on for months,years and decades and now whilst in spending mode why not on the Murray Darling Issue. When are you going to do this or are you simply going to allow the whole basin disintegrate into an Economic and Environmental disaster.
Good on you Nick - it is time to make the Government accountable for the lack of infrastructure spending that could fix this problem once and for all.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Murray-Darling talks too future focused: Parish

Will some one please listen to this man. Follow this link or the article in the shared items alongside to read what the Chief of the Central Irrigation Trust has to say. At last lets talk about now and how to get a fair deal for all along the river - environment included. Peter Garrett visits the lower lakes and suggests yet another study, Penny Wong is missing in action. All the while whole sections of the River (large contributor to Australian economy) economy is being brought to its knees.

The inaction is close to criminal negligence.