Fair Water Use: Irrigators & Lobby Groups: Water theft & diversions
In addition to current news items from Fair Water Use which appear below, a wide range of our previous articles can be viewed via the subheadings of the News tab on the side-menu.
Irrigation lobby seeking to redefine “independence”
6th December 2010
Following release of the Guide to the draft Basin Plan, there has been a range of claims from irrigator groups and others which appear to question the independence of the Murray-Darling Authority and CSIRO; lobby groups seemingly intent on portraying these statutory bodies as no less than a mob of rabid conservationists.
The irrigation lobby is now utilising Orwellian Newspeak to promote its agenda: Andrew Green, Chief Executive of the South Australian Citrus Board, demanding that funding be made available to irrigator groups to enable them to draft their “independent” assessment of the Guide.
In an attempt to make it more palatable to some vested interests, the proposed Basin Plan already contains compromises which the Authority admits will condemn the health of the river to an uncertain future: putting at risk the nation’s most vital river system in a well-meaning but misguided attempt to reduce short term economic impacts.
It is the ultimate paradox that those who seek further softening or scrapping of the Basin Plan are the very groups who, in time, stand to lose the most from such actions.
Murray-Darling water theft confirmed
16th November 2010
At a meeting with FWU earlier this year, then water minister, Penny Wong, admitted that the Commonwealth had no idea of the scale of illegal water diversions in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Supporting FWU's long-voiced concerns about the poor regulation of surface water diversions, the following extract from a new report compiled by the Australian Institute of Criminology confirms the extent of water theft within the Murray-Darling Basin.
Could this happen in Australia ? - if coal-seam gas mining is allowed to "explode" in this country . . . .
Basin Plan: communication is the key
The concerns of Basin communities regarding the Basin Plan Guide could have been assuaged with improved communication on all sides. Professor Chris Miller shares his thoughts on ABC Radio (23rd October 2010): LISTEN HERE
Is the tide beginning to turn ?
It seems that the mainstream media are at long last prepared to air discussion about fundamental concerns surrounding the governance and management of Australian water. Listen to anextended interview with FWU's Ian Douglas on Melbourne Talk Radio (MTR 1377), recorded on the 30th August 2010, covering a range of relevant water topics.
Bottled water industry
In response to requests from supporters, we will be posting information and links on the growing international campaign to increase awareness of the social and environmental implication of this industry.
In September 2009, when Bundanoon, NSW declared its intention to ban the sale of bottled water in the town, industry heavyweights were quick to wail that this was an infringement of the public's right to choose; ignoring the fact that the decision was based on this very principle.
Moreover, as reported by the Australian Water Network last year, "unfortunately, on the day Bundanoon blitzed the world, the local council approved a development application by Norlex Holdings to further advance plans to set up a bottled water plant right in the middle of the world’s first bottled water free town".
Federal regulator: little choice but to approve monopoly
Although without precedent, yesterday’s decision to permit the take-over of the National Air group by its only remaining Australian competitor, Breathe Easy (Australia), is seen by many as the only way forward, finally putting an end to the cost-cutting war and subsequent infrastructure degradation that, in recent months, has left around 20% of Australian homes effectively disconnected from domestic clean-air supply, with widespread public health consequences.
The judgement comes as no surprise to many observers, who could see the writing on the wall following the fateful COAG meeting of October 2035, at which Federal and State Governments agreed to the incremental sell-off of all publicly-owned clean-air utilities, thereby giving the green light to privatisation of national clean-air supply, which burgeoned following collapse of the Global Climate Change Agreement in 2020.
A new acoustic version of the CD single that we have been promoting for the last few months is now available for free download, thanks to the generosity of publisher and FWU supporter, Black Cockatoo Music, which has donated the song to help us continue and expand our efforts, advocating revision of the management of the Murray-Darling, based on a genuine care for its environment. The lyrics appear at the foot of this posting.