Saturday, July 7, 2012

No Progress with the Murray-Darling Basin Plan


MDBasin plan becomes newsworthy again. Nothing sensible can be done here until we have a Coalition Federal Government, and even then we have to revamp the Water Act which is the cause of all the trouble (just like the RET bill and the need to have a sensible energy policy that will ensure our prosperous future.

The idea of starting with how much water to return for environmental flows (2750 or 3000 or 4000 GL) for so called sustainability, or maintaining a "healthy river" must be rejected as an idealistic, Utopian, eco-religious nonsensical concept that doesnt shape up to reality for the riverland's arid climate. The Labor Government must stop wasting taxpayers money with buying back water from the irrigators.

First priority and objective of any MDBasin plan must be to maximize the prosperity of the Basin residents or farmers of the region, plus associated business people, such as in tourism, fishing etc. Any committee for the plan must be composed of such residents having a first hand knowledge of the region and exclude desk bound Canberra bureaucrats and idealistic academics from distant cities.

What about the poor old river and its sustainability, you may say?? The Murray River has been flowing and flooding very well this past couple of years, thanks to Nature. Well, the economic well-being of the region depends on looking after the river and I believe the farming community and its leaders have a superior understanding of the problems than any self-appointed expert from the Labor Government or academia.

A major road block to a sensible plan is the mismanagement of the Lower Lakes in South Australia by the state Labor Government, preventing a stable lake level in times of drought by opening up the barrages. Premier Weatherall's action of taking the water allocation matter to the High Court is a nonsense derived from the promotion of the "healthy river" model which is just eco-religious claptrap. The farmers of the region were quite right to burn the first MDBasin report and the second deserves the same fate. Allano