Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The Biggest Dry......and The Biggest Wait

Circle of Blue has produced a whole section of Australia's Biggest Dry.  You will find it here.  It covers so much, complete with videos. I commend it to Networkers.  It is particularly compelling because sometime soon, when our government is settled, the Murray Darling Basin Plan will be released.  

I am amazed at how few Australians appear to be interested in the MDB Plan.  IMHO, the MDB Plan is the basis for the greatest structural adjustment in this nation's history since white settlement.  Few people know what is in it; what it says; what it recommends.  Already, towns in the MDB are emptying as farmers and irrigators consider or have considered their options for the future.  

The Big Wait for the plan is second only to the The Biggest Dry in terms of expectancy.

I can remember back in the '70s and '80s being moved to tears watching the stories on the 7.30 Report coming out of the dairying reconstruction.  The MDB Plan could be the basis for a much larger agricultural reconstruction than that ever was.  And, tied up with all of that, there is the issue of Food Security which, again, too few Australians seem to have an interest in.

Wake up, Australia.  You are used to thinking of Australia as being self-sufficient in food and exporting the surplus.  This is no longer true - and has not been for some years now.  We are a net importer of many, many food items.  You don't have to take my word for it either - or Bob Katter's.

Do a little research in your very own supermarket - by reading labels.  I have been a label reader for forty years - yet I rarely come across other people doing this in any supermarket I go to.  Now, Australian labelling of food and grocery products could be called "The Big Lie" because it does not tell all that you want or need to know and any push for better labelling is met by the powerful stone wall of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.  

This results in the absurdities of Product of Australia and Made in Australia labelling.  In the simplest of terms, the former means that everything comes from Australia.  The latter means that there are some imported products included in the manufacture of the item - but the label does not tell us whether this is a little or a lot.  And, of course, there is nothing to tell you whether the company manufacturing the product is a wholly owned Australian company; a company with a majority Australian shareholding; or a wholly owned overseas/multinational company.  So, if you like me, want to support Australian companies and Australian jobs, you have quite a battle ahead of you to ensure that you do.....otherwise, you are exporting our jobs to Europe, Asia and the USA.

And all this starts with our water, our land, our care for country - if we bother to care at all.  So, if we say we care, let's get serious - and let's get informed and vote carefully with our dollars at the supermarket - and at the butcher, the baker and the candlestickmaker.

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