Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Endersbee's Clarence River Scheme meets with disapproval of Clarence locals

Yulgilbar 'Castle', built by Jessie Street's grandfather, Edward Ogilvie 
on his Clarence River property in 1863.

At the Murray Darling Basin Authority Community Engagement event in Shepparton last week (see here for details), a suggestion came from the audience for the implementation of turning the Clarence River floodwaters inland in accordance with a plan put forward by Emeritus Professor Lance Endersbee. Many Australians (including Miss Eagle with regard to Endersbee's plans for an inland railway from Melbourne to Darwin) have been caught up in the late Professor Enderbsee's retirement projects.  Jennifer Marohasy provides details in this post of Professor Endersbee's involvements and achievements.

Here is a re-telling of Professor Endersbee's plan for the Clarence from the Citizen's Electorate Council of Australia, followers in Australia of the American Lyndon La Rouche.  I am publishing it in full here so assist in preserving its record.

Citizens Electoral Council of Australia 
Media Release 25th of May 2009 

Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary 
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058 
Phone: 03 9354 0544 Fax: 03 9354 0166 

Grafton floodwaters would save Murray-Darling—build the Clarence Scheme! 

Once again, the Clarence River is in flood at Grafton, NSW, but if the Clarence River Scheme—which has been on the books since at least the early 1920s—had been built, that water would now be on its way down the Darling River, to save the parched towns, farms and lakes of South Australia. 

The scheme would divert the waters of the upper Clarence and Nymboida Rivers over the Great Dividing Range into the Dumaresq River, and on into the Macintyre, Barwon, and Darling Rivers, before flowing into the Murray River near Mildura, and on down to South Australia. Additionally, a nearby Macleay River project would divert water into the Gwydir River and on into the Barwon and Darling Rivers. 

Emeritus Professor Lance Endersbee designed the Clarence Scheme as a pump storage scheme, which can take advantage of surplus off-peak electricity to pump water over the range and into storage dams, which will then produce hydroelectricity from an annual flow of water comparable to that of the Snowy Mountains diversion. 

(Professor Endersbee was Dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Monash University, at the end of a long career which included distinguished work on the Snowy Mountains Scheme, Tasmania’s hydro scheme, and hydroelectric schemes in Southeast Asia.) 

He told a Citizens Electoral Council conference in 1997, “There is the catchment of the Clarence River and it is a wonderful little cup in there, and very steep country, high rainfall and one of the highest rainfall areas in Australia, and they get the summer rains down from the monsoons coming down and they get the winter rains as well. 

“So there is a lot of rainfall there and it all flows out into the sea, and if you have been to Grafton, you know how wide the Clarence River is at Grafton. It’s a big river. 

“So I have ... designed a scheme for the diversion of the Clarence into the Darling. Now ... there is a lot of algae in the Darling... This would flush all the algae out of the Darling.” 

Most importantly, the Clarence River diversion would go a long way to saving the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia’s food bowl, which produces 40 per cent of the national agricultural output, and comprises 75 per cent of Australia’s irrigated land. 

Citizens Electoral Council leader Craig Isherwood called on the nation’s political leaders to act with foresight for the future. “We called to build the Clarence Scheme back in August 2001 when we released our book What Australian Must Do to Survive the Depression and then in February 2002 we published a Special Report, The Infrastructure Road to Recovery including the Clarence and Macleay projects. Nothing has been done and now we’re left with a bill for flood damage and an agricultural sector dying for lack of water. This inaction must stop now. 

“Mr Rudd, pay attention—this, not broadband, is nation-building,” he declared. 

For a free copy of the “Infrastructure Road to Recovery” New Citizen, including details of nearly 20 water projects which could be built for under $40 billion, click here. 


I publicly rebutted the people at Shepparton supporting this proposal saying that the people of the Clarence River district would regard this proposal as risible and that, just as the people of the Shepparton district had the honour paid to them of consultation and allowing them their say, this honour should be extended to the people of the Clarence River district.

So, Networkers, you can imagine my pleasure in reading this statement by Janelle Saffin (HaTTip to Blogotariat) originally published in the blog, North Coast Voices:


Saffin tells Parliament 'Not a drop' from the Clarence River

Bravo to Federal Labor’s Janelle Saffin who really is in tune with her electorate in this 18 October 2010 media release.
Saffin tells Parliament -- ‘Not a drop’
PAGE MP Janelle Saffin made it clear on the first day of the Parliamentary session that she would be vigilant on protecting the Clarence River against water raiders.
Ms Saffin today told Parliament that a lot of people are talking about wanting to get their hands on water from the Clarence River.
But she said the message from the local community in response to those looking at river diversion under the Murray-Darling Basin plan is this – “Not a drop”.
“Engineering-wise, we can do anything -- we can do marvels -- but in terms of the environment and also the viability of the Clarence, it would be a disaster.
“The catchment area of the Clarence River falls within 100 kilometres of the New South Wales coastal strip.
“Our industries are fishing -- we have a huge commercial fishing industry -- and agriculture, and the economy is heavily underpinned by that commercial fishing.
“There is also forestry and tourism. It is all worth a lot to us.
“This debate is one of those debates that come up ever now and then.”
Ms Saffin said that right across her electorate thousands of cars display the ‘not a drop’ bumper stickers, part of a Daily Examiner campaign against Coalition water policy in 2007.
Following her statement in the House, Ms Saffin said she did not want to alarm people but she wanted to be up front on the first sitting day on this important issue.
“I also want to thank the local people who sent me good information on the issue this morning,” Ms Saffin said.
“The idea of diverting the Clarence River inland won’t stand up to closer public scrutiny.”

See an additional post on this topic also at Northern Voices here.

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