Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The MDB beat up is on : agrilobbies: the unread Water Act: gullible rural communities #WaterAct #basinplan #vestedinterest #agrilobbies #agchatoz


The beat up has begun.  The angry agrilobbies think they are on a sure thing as they beat up emotions without depth of thought in rural communities within the Murray Darling Basin.  Water Act bad is the message.  How many people in the picture above do you think have read the Water Act and understand its intention and how it does and can operate?  How many are responding to propaganda, political motivation, or the agrilobby push?

This is the beat up. Agrilobbies want to amend the act.  Well, I reckon they are telling fibs.  What they really want to do is to remake the Water Act in their own image and likeness.  They are carrying on as if they are the only stakeholders in the Murray Darling Basin.  Yep, your right, Networkers. I'm hopping mad at the hypocrisy of it all.  But I don't want to repeat myself.  Here's what I said to a Tweep on Twitter the other day. Yes, I know it is more than 140 characters but there is a program that lets you TwitLonger. So here it is....
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On Monday 13th December 2010, @misseagle said:
Rebekah, the Water Act did not become a farce all by itself - unless you say that both the Liberals (in Govt & in Opposition) & ALP (both in Govt & in Opposition) were asleep on the job and don't know poor legislation when they see it. 

Nuh, there are certain vested interests out to make the Water Act look foolish. 

I do think Gillard and Burke have been too stand-offish - but their modus operandi seems to be like something out of the boy, the man and the donkey: and this story tells us that one can't please all the people all of the time. However, Labor keeps on trying to. Well I see them as trying to please people who will never vote for them in a fit and alienating or ignoring their own constituency who would vote for them, but...

I am most concerned about the stance of the National Irrigators Council - and particularly the NSW Irrigators Council who seem to think that acting like 1930s Nazis with an ideological book-burning is great public relations and explains everything. The fact is that given enough propaganda even Santa Claus can be made to look bad. And this is what agrilobbies, particularly the Irrigators, have set about doing and the Gillard Govt doesn't have the guts to bell the cat.

The question is this. Do we want to repair the Murray-Darling Basin or don't we? The longer it is postponed the more difficult the task becomes. Sure, let the irrigators get up an amended Act in their own image and likeness and see how far that will get the MDB. 

Whether we like it or not, whether we notice it or not, we all live in an environmental context of air, and earth and water. If that is sick, we eventually get sick. At the moment, for much of Australian society there is little humility about this - yet how do we explain acid soils, salinity, blue-green algae, expensive inputs, and damage to soils which were already fragile when white settlers arrived. 

Now I would think twice about my criticism of the agri-lobby if I saw them willing to step back a millilitre. But they haven't. 

I wouldn't send them to make peace. One would end up with something like the Treaty of Versailles - which started another war and a few small events besides and didn't conclude until the wall came down seventy years later. We want something like a Truth and Reconciliation spirit in all of this. We want people to admit mistakes. Be honest about what they like and don't like, to be sure. But come with honesty and humility and prepared to look hard at reality and concede some changes. This is not happening. Easier to taunt a govt, play the man not the ball, and blame everyone else and rely on the bigotry of closed communities for support.

And all this about communities. I think the agrilobbies are hypocrites. How often have they gone into bat strenuously for these communities when farmers have got drought relief and shopkeepers and small business are going down the tubes with nothing? I reckon the agrilobbies are trying to look socially conscious to ingratiate themselves somewhat - not that they really care - with the current government.

And how about asking some real questions? At the MDBA sessions, it would always get down to numbers. Who would go without? Strategic allocation, etc. The MDBA would reply that they couldn't give those numbers because they were locked up in the Water Resources Departments of the States. So I ask this question - which has never ever been raised.

Where is COAG responsibility in all of this? All this started with COAG agreement - that is, the States and the Commonwealth. The MDBA has commissioned millions of dollars of informative research. Yet why could they not get the most basic of data out of the States? To me, this goes to the heart of the matter - and this situation won't change with any amendments the irrigators want to bring in unless the States are dragged kicking and screaming into this. This has to be a Whole of Nation event.

Then there is the Victoria situation of not coming on board until 2019. That has to be attacked. Changing the Water Act is unlikely to change that.

The facts of the matter have to be brought home to everyone in Australia:
FIRST
This is a structural adjustment unlike any other that has occurred since white settlement began. This is a burning, heart-breaking event. 

I recall the dairy adjustment of the 70s and how I sat crying in front of the television watching it happen from afar. This didn't happen to me - but the memory has its own scars even for a bystander. It explains my emotions over the MDB situation.

SECOND
The MDBA is trying do something that no one else anywhere in the world has done before. It is trying to deliver whole of basin reform (across four states and a territory) within a basin of multitudinous catchments. 

And the irrigators burn books? Who are the troglodytes here? I think they are the equivalent of yobbos who would sit on the pub verandah getting drunk while the bush burns.
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