Thursday, 8 December 2011

Environmental Activism says that the Basin Plan fails rivers

Barmah-Millewa Campaign 
Friends of the Earth Melbourne

Massive Hume Dam Banner Drop: 
Basin Plan Fails Rivers

The banner unfurled on the grass in front of dam

On Monday, a group of us joined The Wilderness Society (Sydney) for a massive (literally!) banner drop off the Hume Dam Weir in Albury. At the break of dawn 8 climbers abseiled down the wall to hang a 50m x 6m banner (yep, that is HUGE) with the slogan "Basin Plan Fails Rivers". We wanted to make a big public statement that let Australia know the current draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan fails to provide adequate environmental flows to restore the rivers and their ecosystems, and to prevent build up of salt and algae blooms that threaten over 3 million people's water supply and farming communities throughout the Basin.

The banner ready to drop!

The banner drop didn't go exactly as planned.... unfortunately due to high winds, the key word in the banner failed to unfurl - and that key word was "fails". In some ways, the irony was sweet: it is the failure of the draft Basin Plan that we wanted most to highlight!

The awesome climb team!

Despite the lack of success with the unfurling, we did get some great media attention and we rolled out the banner in front of the weir for some more photo opportunities as well. 

The climbers getting ready on the Dam wall

The Border Mail (Albury-Wodonga's main paper) did a full page spread and editorial: "The Plan won't protect the wetlands, nor will it keep the Murray Mouth open, which is necessary to flush the salt from the system

"Wind Hampers Basin Protest:  The Weekly Times  The protesters "disagreed with the science and methodology used by the MDBA to calculate the 2750 gigalitres needed to restore river health."

Dam Wall Protest Goes Awry: Prime7 TV video"Environmental activists have gone to extreme lengths to protest against the Draft Murray Darling Basin Plan"

May take a little time to start

"You can’t swim in a blue-green algal bloom, 
you can’t camp by an acidified billabong, 
and sure as hell can’t farm on a dead river.” 

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