The Left Mobilizes to ‘Save the Murray’

THE left in Australia can mobile very quickly with ‘Getup’ securing over 18,000 signatures on its petition to ‘Save the Murray’ since it launched the campaign just yesterday.

The letter they sent out is full of misinformation including comment that:

“The Murray Darling Basin has been sucked dry by decades of over extraction. Despite recent rain and floods the Murray Darling Basin is on the brink of ecosystem collapse. Already over 90% of the floodplain wetlands have been destroyed along with native fish and bird populations.”

I guess the truth has never stood in the way of a good campaign?


*************

Subject: They’ve resigned in protest
From: “GetUp!”
Date: Sat, May 21, 2011 5:22 pm
————————————————————————–

Dear Jennifer,

Today it was revealed that key scientists have walked away from the government’s Murray Darling Basin Authority process in protest.

Right now the Murray Darling Basin Authority is in the final stages of recommending how to deal with the water crisis in the Murray Darling. But shockingly, scientists tell us that the Authority is preparing to announce environmental water flows so low they won’t save our nation’s food bowl.
Worse still, the Authority has cancelled all independent scientific review of the Government’s Murray Darling plan in an attempt to cover up its lack of environmental credibility.

The Wentworth Group of Scientists have just resigned from the process in protest1 – but they need public support. That’s where GetUp members can make a difference. In a few weeks the Basin Authority will announce its plan. Let’s create a huge public petition to the Environment Minister,
Tony Burke, demanding that the Government bring back scientific review before it’s too late:

www.getup.org.au/campaigns/murray-darling/petition/save-the-basin

The Murray Darling Basin has been sucked dry by decades of over extraction. Despite recent rain and floods the Murray Darling Basin is on the brink of ecosystem collapse. Already over 90% of the floodplain wetlands have been destroyed along with native fish and bird populations.

Without a basis in science the basin plan could lock in the death of over a quarter of the iconic river red gums on the Murray. This would spell disaster for the internationally recognised wetlands on the river.

Scientists and sustainable famers can’t fix this situation alone. Their voices are being ignored. But if we all join with them, we can’t be ignored so easily. Sign this petition to call on Environment Minister Tony Burke to bring back the science:

www.getup.org.au/campaigns/murray-darling/petition/save-the-basin

We can’t let the opportunity to save our most precious waterways be wasted by bureaucrats wanting to take the easy option and ignore the science under pressure from the heavy irrigators. Please join the petition to help back up the scientists.

Thanks for taking action,
The GetUp team
*****************

69 Responses to The Left Mobilizes to ‘Save the Murray’

  1. Luke May 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Give them a visit Jen – you’ll get many more hits – take the debate to them.

    http://blog.getup.org.au/2011/05/22/latest-campaign-murray-darling/#comments

  2. Mack May 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    yeah I suppose a farmer irrigates.
    a “sustainable” farmer mitigates.

  3. Jennifer May 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Thanks Luke. Took your advice and my comment went straight up and was the first. I thought if I added the web address http://www.mythandthemurray.org I might be pushing things. But maybe you could go across and add that address with a comment. please. :-)

  4. John Bromhead May 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    I think about 90% of those signing this petition have not even read the summary of the Guide to the Draft Murray-Darling basin plan, 99% not read the first volume of the Guide and 99.9% have not read the responses from the community that have pointed out the Guide’s deficiencies. Its a lot easier just to push a button.

  5. Debbie May 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    Oh dear,
    The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists have definitely had a dummy spit!

  6. John Sayers May 23, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    I suppose if they knew what they were doing they wouldn’t be “concerned” scientists Deb.

  7. Mags118 May 23, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    Hi Jennifer,
    It’s unreal how they can get so many people to sign a petition in such a short time, it really does make one wonder. It seems these people have more spin than our current Government and that is saying something. There was an article about Get Up in the Australian, here is the link if anyone would like to have a look.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/mental-health-sector-pans-the-getup-locusts/story-fn59niix-1226060690891

  8. ontheriver May 23, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Keep up the good work Jennifer. I agree with the Australian article that GetUp are locusts that swoop in at the last minute. Where have GetUp been on this issue to date. A quick review the MDBA Basin Plan site shows that they have not provided feedback on the guide and I don’t think I have seen a submission from them to any of the Parliamentary Inquiries. If they were serious on this issue they would have been involved from the beginning.

    Or maybe they are only getting involved now because Tony Burke’s former Chief of Staff only started working with GetUp a couple of months ago!

  9. Marc May 23, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Jennifer, The Australian??? Really??? Now that is a source of credible non biased commentary isn’t it . . . . not! Anything that opposes the greed of big business or upsetting the status quo is a target for that so-called media product. Is that the best you can do?

  10. Marc May 23, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    My apologies Jennifer for my previous reply. The retort should have been directed to Mags118, not you.

  11. David Joss May 23, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Maggs 118: It’s also unreal that they can call for more science and in the next breath make such ratbag claims as “Already over 90% of the floodplain wetlands have been destroyed…”
    I was out at the local wetlands a couple of days ago. They were fine. Lots of water, lots of birds.

    The Wentworth Group will be no loss. Their prediction success rate is somewhere south of the BoM’s.

  12. el gordo May 23, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    The Wentworth Group is poor and BoM is hopeless, but the Climate Commissioners take the cake in their new report.

    “The atmosphere is warming, the ocean is warming, ice is being lost from glaciers and ice caps and sea levels are rising,” it said.

  13. Phil May 23, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    Jennifer, if you weren’t so keen to bag the “left’ and instead learned more about what’s happened to the Murray Darling Basin this might be worth reading. Instead you’ve only shown part of the message to suit your position which is not exactly honest, is it. The same distortions are found in News Ltd. reports.

  14. debbie May 23, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Maybe it is pushing things to try and link to mythandthemurray? I tried last night and that comment did not getup at getup:-)
    Have you tried Luke?
    Maybe we should all try?

    This one seems to have made it through this morning:

    “Unless I missed something, I’m quite sure it was the Wentworth Group who walked away and therefore would be perfectly capable of walking back at any time if they so chose?If we were to believe this response, you would be forgiven for believing that the Government ‘sacked’ the Wentworth Group?You would aslo be forgiven for believing that the Wentworth Group are the only ones who knew how to ‘fix’ the basin?Neither of those assertations have any basis in reality and both the Wentworth Group and your organisation are behaving like extremely spoilt children because ‘Mummy and Daddy’ didn’t do what you wanted.
    The Wentworth Group need to grow up and decide to be part of the process or just go away and sulk in silence.
    This public sulking is not attractive at all.”

    The story is here as well and may be worth a comment?

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=995#comment-30974

  15. Robert May 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Whether or not they first met in a town or electorate called Wentworth, the mock-historic title of the group is a dead give-away. It’s a bit like buying an “Oxford” brand suit. The more solid-sounding the more flimsy. In this case, disintegration is welcome.

    The word “concerned”, by the way, translates as “Watermelon”. Let ‘em go. Or suggest they spend their own money on showing their “concern”. You’ll never see them again. Leftist academics have the most snake-ridden pockets of any segment of humanity.

  16. debbie May 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    Robert,
    I’m fairly sure they met at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney CBD?
    That would further prove your point about coming up with a ‘solid sounding’ name.
    I so wish we could just “Let ‘em go!”
    That would by my first instinct as well.
    As Jen pointed out earlier, those ‘snake ridden pockets’ have managed to gain them a popular and fashionable kudos in MSM and so far no one has been allowed the opportunity to seriously challenge them.
    Plenty have tried.
    However, you may be right, they are possibly ‘disintegrating’ themselves by this extremely childish behaviour and sulking publicly via ‘Getup’.
    I definitely hope so!

  17. Luke May 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Yes Debs I was also gonged over at Getup.

  18. Peter R. Smith OAM May 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    Thought you may be interested in a comment from Professor Mike Young, “Rather than defining limits on diversion, a clear water entitlement for the environment should be allocated, if anything goes wrong the environment is then an equal stakeholder and takes an equal share with all other groups,” he said.
    Whilst all of the other comments are anti the Wentworth Group I am not convinced their input was not of some value!
    Regarding Getup I am not able to comment one way or the other, I get their stuff and sometimes I agree, though I agree with the comment, “We can’t let the opportunity to save our most precious waterways be wasted by bureaucrats wanting to take the easy option and ignore the science under pressure from the heavy irrigators”.

  19. debbie May 24, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Which science is that Peter?
    The only science we have seen so far is hydrological ‘end of system flows’ science and some highly questionable comments about %s of wetlands and salt etc…
    There are other options as you well know and it appears as if they are now being considered.
    The problem that the Wentworth group are having is that some of their ‘science’ has been questioned and some of it has been discredited and instead of being scientific about it and staying involved in the process, they have spat the dummy and had a very public sulk via Getup. They are having a big sook and claiming that they are being ‘ignored’
    No one sacked them, they were allowed to be a part of the process. They have chosen to walk away.
    Notice the highly connotative adjectives in the comment you have pasted?
    The waterways are ‘precious’, the irrigators are ‘heavy’ and the option is ‘easy’.
    The connotative verb for the river is ‘saved’
    The connotative verb associated with the science is it is being ‘ignored’.
    The other connotative verb is about those heavy irrigators and it is saying they ‘pressured’.
    None of those are qualified and there is not a single objective or scientific phrase in that whole statement.
    It is emotive and highly divisive.
    Here’s some more questions for you…saved from what? Saved by who and for whom? Ignored by whom? Pressured by whom? And what would be the easy option according to whomever or whatever?
    So unlike you, I completely disagree with the motives behind that comment.

  20. cohenite May 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Well said debbie.

  21. Peter R. Smith OAM May 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    I regret that I have put some trust in science but believe that without scientific input from all scientific sources a proper fair MBD Plan cannot happen successfully.
    I am not saying the Wentworth Group are always right but they are not always wrong!
    I feel very strongly that, “defining limits on diversion, a clear water entitlement for the environment should be allocated, if anything goes wrong the environment is then an equal stakeholder and takes an equal share with all other groups” the environment is I believe a water user so should be entitled to a slice of the pie. If we can achieve a healthy environment we will have succeeded in making the necessary changes to ensure the Basins future for all needs.
    We have the best opportunity to get it done once and for all for all users!
    “Saved for what” the what is what happened during the decade of drought we have not been listening.
    “Saved by who” the who is us those thinking of the best for the Basin and Australia.
    “And from whom” the whom are the selfish that are not prepared to think of all users equally.
    “Ignored by whom” the whom are as above those thinking only of themselves.
    “Pressured by whom” pressured who are not prepared to make the necessary changes.
    “And what would be the easy option according to whomever or whatever?” there is no easy option.
    You may disagree with mine or other persons comments but without input from all interested enough to make a stand we may as well just just forget about doing anything so when trouble – another drought – comes along we can all throw our hands in the air and wail why didn’t we do something about it after the last drought.
    Hi cohenite,
    Not bad your first comment three words no input! Please feel free to give us the benefit of your knowledge!

  22. Debbie May 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    Peter,
    Of course there must be science involved.
    It must be verified and it must be from more than one discipline.
    So far the only science we have seen is all about hydrological end of system flows that have not recognised that other options such as engineering and diversion should be considered.
    Science is not the only requirement, we also need good management. In fact good management is the missing key piece in both the draft MDBP and in the Wentworth Group’s reports.
    They are now sulking because they have been called out on their science and their lack of understanding about good management.
    If people think that making inflammatory comments like the one you pasted from Getup is making good input because
    they’re interested enough to make a stand, I would agree that we won’t get anywhere.
    You are also once again displaying you don’t really understand water sharing plans. The environment has been a recognised stakeholder in the MDB for many years. It also has a very high priority. It suffered along with every other stakeholder during the drought. Except for a few areas, in particular the lower lakes, the environment has bounced back in an absolutely spectacular manner since the rains. It is actually the human assets which are still in serious need of upgrade, expansion and assisstance.
    The Wentworth Group and the MDBA and that totally inadequate Water Act are attempting to solve the wrong problem and using the wrong resources to do it!

  23. Peter R. Smith OAM May 25, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    “We can’t let the opportunity to save our most precious waterways be wasted by bureaucrats wanting to take the easy option and ignore the science under pressure from the heavy irrigators”.

  24. Peter R. Smith OAM May 25, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Sorry a pasting mistake.
    Hi Debbie,
    I have already said science must be involved, science from all angles so I am not bleating about the Wentworth Group being gone I just happen to appreciate the help especially Mike Young has given me and also believe that they have a place around the table, but it was their choice.
    I am not a Getup supporter but they were partly right, “We can’t let the opportunity to save our most precious waterways be wasted by bureaucrats wanting to take the easy option and ignore the science”.
    I understand the water sharing rules and I know the MDB and the Federal Government have purchased water for the Living Murray but what I am saying there should be a much larger parcel of water licensed to the environment so when irrigation entitlements are cut back (and all percentage cuts should be the same anywhere in the Basin) during the next drought the environmental license is equally cut.
    I also see the 2007 Water Act has a complete waste of paper.

  25. Mack May 25, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Yes Debbie ,agree with Cohenite back there, well said.
    It seems the whole premise of the “science” (and we all know what” science” they mean) was to have a drought ridden Murray. The rains have come and soaked all their scientific ammunition, put a dampener on their spirits, and most importantly completely turned on its head every argument their “science” had to profer to explain a Murray drought.
    The foundations of their “science” has been completely undermined and washed away by rain. They’re not rebuilding. They’re calling it a day.
    The only thing drying up ,I hope, for this group, should be taxpayer dollars.

  26. Ian Thomson May 25, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Well put , Mack.
    I did hear a rambling interview with a ‘scientist ‘ splashing around in the lower lakes, in which he claimed that he and a female collegue there ,had been responsible for most of the scientific input to the MDBP.
    And you know what? I believed him too.

  27. Peter R. Smith OAM May 25, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    Hi Mack,
    Seems Debbie has another fan but instead of just agreeing what about some other input.
    Droughts come and go but now we have a healthy river, do we not plan for the next drought which may be worse than the last decade.
    I would like to believe there will be no more multiple years of record low inflow but I try not to be a dreamer!
    If the ‘climate changes’ as predicted do eventuate and there is a 4-degree rise in average temperatures across Australia and for every 1-degree we could see a 15% drop in the inflows (Karlene Maywald ex-Minister for the River Murray in SA) into the MDB and that adds up to a 56% drop in inflows in the next 50-years.
    When the Ex-Minister Penny Wong spoke to a Murray Darling Association meeting in SA she predicted a 90% drop in irrigation by 2100.
    Whether those listed above are wrong we are yet to find out though I probably, no certainly, won’t be here in 2050 but my children and grandchildren etc will so I care.
    Having attended two ‘climate change’ forums with the Australian Conservation Foundation and Al Gore and presented on ‘climate change’ in three states I am concerned I wish all people were.
    I don’t agree with a carbon tax at this stage but firmly believe if we are wrong about what may eventuate everything we do to stop carbon pollution is to this planet will be better off!
    Over many years when times are bad in the Basin Governments talk about legislation to ensure some security across the Basin is put in place but as usual when we get good rains it all goes into the too hard basket, well I hope that doesn’t happen this time, we have a great opportunity to finally make some worth while changes.

  28. debbie May 25, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Peter,
    You are obviously totally in love with that particular statement because you have now copy/pasted it 3 times.
    As I tried to explain at an earlier post, that statement is inflammatory and unproductive.
    It is so full of connotative adjectives and verbs that anyone who is uneducated or unsure about the ‘real’ issues in the MDB would be forgiven for thinking that all our problems are caused by ‘heavy irrigators’ not caring about our ‘precious waterways’ and also for not listening to such knowledgeable scientists (ha!) as the Wentworth Group.
    As Mack has just pointed out, the return of the rains has completely undermined most of the Wentworth Group’s ‘science’.
    They preached shortages and doom for the MDB.
    That is very obviously only part of the picture. As Jennifer has often commented, our land is a land ‘of drought and flooding rains’ and everything in between.
    As you well know, the problem is not a lack of science, the problem is a lack of sensible vision and flexible management.
    It is also a ‘mindset’ that keeps insisting that our ‘ natural environment’ is in mortal danger.
    I would strongly recommend you take a look around the ENTIRE MDB and take note of all those over 2000 ‘environmental assets’ that were supposedly destroyed by over allocation.
    The truly natural ones are more than used to prolonged droughts and have bounced back in a most spectacular manner. Many of the man made assets are also recovering quickly.
    There are still some serious problems at your end of the system DESPITE the fact that it has had the best and longest ‘end of system’ flush in a very long time.
    That tells me that the problems down there are NOT going to be solved by just throwing more water at it.
    That is STILL the solution that the Wentworth Group are pushing.
    You keep trying to argue that no one cares enough about the health of the river and also that the Eastern States are greedy and they don’t care about SA.
    You are also misrepresenting the importance of the Environment in State Water Sharing Plans.
    None of those statements are correct. Anyone who is a personal stakeholder in the MDB cares deeply about these issues as well many other related issues.
    They are all inter related.
    We desperately need to stop thinking ‘ how do we need to shut down & cut back?’ and start thinking ‘how can we make this whole system work better for all established stakeholders, including the environment and including the end of the system’ !!!!!!! ???
    The Wentworth Group and the MDBA draft definitely tried to work on answering the first question because that was what that woefully inadequate Water Act 2007 required them to do.

  29. debbie May 25, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    BTW Peter,
    “everything we do to stop carbon pollution is to this planet will be better off!”

    CO2 IS NOT A POLLUTANT!!!!!!
    It is a very necessary part of our atmosphere and its concentration has varied in Earth’s atmosphere over millenium.
    We are actually carbon based life forms.
    Are you aware that you are an extremely efficient producer of CO2?
    Unless you’re an alien species, you actually exhale CO2 after every breath you take. Interestingly you actually exhale more than you inhaled.
    You are correct however that the ‘climate change’ debate and the ‘water debate’ are closely related.
    Both of the popular approaches are trying to solve the wrong problem and they are using propagandist alarmism, and hijacking science and computer models to do it.
    Here’s a question for you….IF the world is warming because of increasing CO2 levels (and you at least recognise that this is a THEORY not a settled fact) HOW is the current policy of naming CO2 as a dangerous pollutant and claiming that we will have less water going to solve anything? What is the positive outcome for man and his environment if we keep spending large amounts of tax payer dollars on this obsession with a carbon tax and this obsessive need to cut back and shut down?
    I have children as well. So do most Australians. I can’t see much that will be positive for them from this latest round of alarmism. History teaches us that this approach has never worked to improve lifestyle and living standards for future generations.
    All I can see happening is my children and grandchildren being stuck with the debt we have created.

  30. Mack May 25, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Smithy,
    You’ve attended an Al Gore lecture!!!!!!!!
    Aaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    That’s one of the funniest things I’ve read for a long time.
    Mate ! There’s no hope for you .
    You truely are one of the naive gullible brainwashed true believers.
    Aaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
    Gimme strength.

  31. Mark A May 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Don’t mock him Mack, he calls big Al a friend and is on his email list and proud of it.

  32. Peter R. Smith OAM May 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    No I’m not ‘in love’ with the quote as I said it was put up again on this site by a pasting mistake but I do agree, “We can’t let the opportunity to save our most precious waterways be wasted by bureaucrats wanting to take the easy option and ignore the science” whatever that science we take into account as we must continue at all times to continue dialog!
    In your terms I must be uneducated as I agree I didn’t progress too far at school but have travelled widely and lived in Adelaide as well as a great deal of time spent near the River Murray at Murray Bridge, Wellington and Mannum since 1945!
    I am not referring to irrigators as heavy hitters it is terminology I have never used.
    You write, “As Jennifer has often commented, our land is a land ‘of drought and flooding rains’ and everything in between. As you well know, the problem is not a lack of science the problem is a lack of sensible vision and flexible management. It is also a ‘mindset’ that keeps insisting that our ‘natural environment’ is in mortal danger”.
    I agree with what you have said but droughts will come again and I am hoping the effect will be able to be mitigated next time but it won’t be by, “a lack of science the problem is a lack of sensible vision and flexible management” and, “a ‘mindset’ that keeps insisting that our ‘natural environment’ is in mortal danger” our natural environment is what we must ensure is managed properly and not by political will!
    I have looked at the entire MDB and travel the Basin as much as time and finances permit, I will do so when possible and it is pleasing the assets have recovered as we knew they would with good inflows.
    Yes, “There are still some serious problems at your end of the system DESPITE the fact that it has had the best and longest ‘end of system’ flush in a very long time” they are management problems which the MDBA must sort out with the next Basin Plan!
    And yes, “That tells me that the problems down there are NOT going to be solved by just throwing more water at it” the problem is political will and management.
    As far as caring is involved it is about all Australians continuing to care and have input into the debate.
    100% correct, “how can we make this whole system work better for all established stakeholders, including the environment and including the end of the system”.
    As far as CO2 is concerned are you making the point that we do not need to worry about carbon in the atmosphere?
    You are correct however that the ‘climate change’ debate and the ‘water debate’ are closely related though if the mean temperature continues to increase I believe the inflows into the Basin could be reducing, there in lays the problem.
    My point is we must leave this planet no worse off than it was when we arrived, it is our responsibility to ensure our legacy is good.
    To Mack,
    I didn’t say I believed everything I heard but once again being part of the debate is important and what a stupid comment, “You truely are one of the naive gullible brainwashed true believers” that will never happen.
    As I said before some sensible input would be valuable and what strength you need is an ability to stop critising and get involved! Also truly does not have an “e”.

  33. Peter R. Smith OAM May 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Hi Mark A,
    Thanks for, “Don’t mock him Mack, he calls big Al a friend and is on his email list and proud of it”. It is about listening to ALL points of view!

  34. Mack May 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Smithy,
    With respect to farming, you can either live in the well known reality of the Australian climate or live in an Al Gore fantasy world of “sustainability” , “mitigation” and all the buzz words designed to tax the tripe out of you.

  35. Peter R. Smith OAM May 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Hi Mack,
    Thank you for the enlightening, “With respect to farming, you can either live in the well known reality of the Australian climate or live in an Al Gore fantasy world of “sustainability” , “mitigation” and all the buzz words designed to tax the tripe out of you.
    As I suspect you have no input into this debate believing everything will be alright if we do nothing, well good luck please stay living in your little selfish world!

  36. Mack May 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Smithy,
    If Jennifer’s posting me up there’s input from me. Don’t you like it?
    ……”if we do nothing”
    nothing about what Smithy. Nothing about the climate?
    Should we do something about the climate Smithy.
    Should we fix the climate? Here in little ol NZ we’re fixing it already. We already have a tax as a result of your “science”. Notice the effect on the climate Smithy?
    Al Gore will have you grazing in the paddocks with the rest of us. Baa Baa.

  37. Peter R. Smith OAM May 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    Hi Mack,
    Now I realise you from New Zealand I understand your lack of input re the Murray Darling Basin, anything else also and I am happy that you have a tax to fix the climate situation but may I suggest you don’t stand too close to the rear of the Baa Baa

  38. Mack May 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Go ahead Smithy and follow Big Al. You know that sheep thing of always following.
    Our economy is already buggered, so it dosn’t matter here any more.
    But you can go ahead and be a follower and risk buggering yours. All for no effect on climate.
    I think some sheep are more clued up than you.
    A genuine follower of Al Gore.!
    Aaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha Still can’t get over it.
    Stick around , you could be fun.

  39. Debbie May 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Peter,
    It is not carbon in the atmosphere. It is CO2. Not only that, the bit that evryone is obsessing over is man made CO2
    So my answer to your question is no I am not paricularly concerned. I don’t believe we’re influencing climate that dramatically with our little slice of CO2 and I don’t believe taxing CO2 emissions will do anything to either positively or negatively impact future climate. I think it has turned into an insanely expensive and pointless obsession.
    We have had higher levels of CO2 in our atmosphere before and we neither particularly caused it or changed it.
    You have still totally missed the point about the environment’s role as an important stakeholder in the MDB.
    You have also pretended you agree with me about end of system flows and then gone straight back to the Mike Young and MDBA and the Wentworth Group ideas about the environment and the solution. Their solution is to take water from established uses, jam up the storages with it and then simply flush it out to sea. If the Wentworth group got their way that would be approx 60% of productive water.
    There are much better ways to help the environment and MDB communities.

  40. Susan May 25, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Really. You guys should start learning about estuaries. How much water does it take to keep the Lower Lakes and Coorong working after you all take most of the water for farming.

    People down here depend on SOME fresh water, and just how much is complicated.

    CO2, Mdba, climate change, Wentworth Group, etc. is a distraction and a waste of good minds.

    Solve the problem. Focus on the problem. Everything else is just a diversion.

  41. David J. Shorter No AM May 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Hi Peter,
    I agree with Debbie about MDBA and Wentworth Group ideas of taking water away from production for human need for alleged environmental benefits.
    In a world where there are one billion malnourished humans, every time a renewable resource like fresh water is locked out of production the sum of human misery increases.
    Has this fact ever occured to The Wentworth Group ?
    Several members of TWG are economists.
    Surely they would have some idea how many humans have to give up eating for each gigalitre taken out of production,wouldn’t they?
    Don’t you think taking fresh water away from feeding and clothing people to evaporate in lakes Albert and Alexandrina is a crime ?
    Dave.

  42. debbie May 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    Fair comment Susan although this post is about the politics and also about the Wentworth Group’s dummy spit.
    I posted this after you asked a similar question at the earlier Murray discussion.
    It’s still relevant.

    I strongly believe the answers to your questions would have to lie in some sensible engineering and technical solutions rather than hydrological ‘end of system flow’ science that basically doesn’t recognise that much of the system is highly regulated.
    Part of that solution would have to be the Wellington solution that Peter keeps talking about and also SA would need to be prepared to look for other engineering solutions and storage solutions that could provide enough ‘back up storage’ to supply what it decides is the right level of ‘fresh’ water in low inflow sequences. When we have high inflows, there is plenty of water for the ‘end of system flows’, despite Peter’s, Getup’s, The Wentworth Group’s, ACF’s etal loud arguments to the contrary.
    If the Coorong was reconnected to its original water supply and the Lakes were allowed to return to their tidal/estaurine ecology, then SA would not need so much water from the Murray.
    If SA wants to keep those Lakes as always fresh, then it must come up with ways to do that and not expect upstream storages to supply water they are incapable of supplying in low inflow sequences.
    Peter is correct that we need to protect established practices and definitely need to protect fresh potable water supplies for critical human needs and stock and domestic purposes.
    All of those problems are solvable and there are many plans already available to do that.
    The how is not the problem, the where is not really a problem either, it is definitely the political will that is obstructing some sensible and practical solutions.
    Unfortunately for all of us (and I fear even more so for SA because it is so very vulnerable at the bottom of the system) the Federal Government’s attempts, using an inadequate international treaty to muscle in on Australian water management, has so far succeeded in making everything even more complicated and more difficult.
    We have confused and ‘timid’ science and a Water Act that is demanding a “cut back and shut down’ number.
    The federal Govt has hamstrung itself because it uses an environmental international treaty that then forces it to only consider the health of wetlands and birdlife when coming up with that number.
    The information coming from the Senate inquiry into the Water Act’s ability to deliver a good balanced outcome is confirming that the Water Act 2007 is unable to do that.

    We would all be way better off if we could go back to the NWI (National Water Inititiative) and start again with the lessons we have learnt from the drought.
    Your SA Government also does need to stop being so myopic about the Coorong and the Lower Lakes.
    I can see from your website that there are plenty of South Australians who are prepared to do that.

  43. Susan May 26, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Nice recap Debbie, and you’re right this post is about the politics. My turn for a dummy spit on the last post.

    The way I see it it this water battle is more about which irrigators get the water, Lock One being the dividing line during a major drought like the last one.

    The role of the Greens or the environmentalists, should have been to see through how the Lakes have evolved, how farming practices over the last generation have changed the Lakes, and be the voice for the ‘environment’.

    Instead the Greens have chosen to allow a small band of loud local activists, many of them with agricultural interests below Lock 1, influence them. The Greens have let down their constituents by continuing the false environmental charade. The Greens could have played an important long term role in solving the water problem had they acknowledged the affect of the barrages on the environment.

  44. debbie May 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Well said Susan!
    We should not be arguing from a false assumption.
    All irrigators and all production based on water has impacted the environment in some form another.
    It is really silly to argue otherwise.
    In some cases we have managed to make our environment better for humans, birds, aquatic species, the continual flow of water in essential areas etc… and in some cases (like those poor abused lakes) we have made it worse. The Lakes are not the only problem but that is the one that is presently requiring the largest GL by a long shot.
    The bottom line is that there are some mistakes that need to be fixed and so far the politics surrounding this whole issue has made everything murkier.
    This latest ‘dummy spit’, using the environment as an excuse, is another example of that.

  45. Peter R. Smith OAM May 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    Whatever other groups say is only of interest to me not what I may or may not want. As far as influence the climate I believe we do have a responsibility to as I said before, ensure we make every attempt to leave this place better for our children etc.
    Hi Susan,
    The Lakes Alexandrina and Albert were never estuarine but TIDAL!
    The pipeline supplies are just too expensive to attain your licence water from1
    Hi Debbie,
    How is Susan’s comment a fair comment how would like to be paying $100.000 for the water you have already purchased?
    Lets’ look at an engineering solution all we want is a fair decision from an EIS into the construction of a regulator near Wellington. If that were undertaken we could move forward.
    I have never argued that there is not enough end of system flows are good and as far as more storages this is the age old problem WHERE?
    All of discussions with this States politicians have been absolutely worthless they will not listen but that is maybe because there is no votes for them along the River corridor.
    You and Susan are 100% it’s all about politics!
    Hi Susan,
    Your comment, “The way I see it this water battle is more about which irrigators get the water, Lock One being the dividing line during a major drought like the last one” is 100% correct above Lock 1 to the Eastern States border the irrigators, not all, but most couldn’t care less about below Lock 1.
    As for the Greens what will happen when they control the Senate?
    Hi Debbie,
    Your last post is spot on!

  46. Denis Webb May 26, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    I see there is a new blog post at http://www.mythandthemurray.org explaining that I was not the only one whose comment was not posted at the GetUp! blog.

    It make me angry that they could say the Basin is on the verge of ecological collapse and then censor the thread to exclude contrary opinion.

    http://www.mythandthemurray.org/getup-and-visit-the-murray-darling/

  47. Susan May 27, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    Peter,

    Why don’t you explain to us the difference between ‘tidal’ and ‘estuarine’.

  48. Debbie May 27, 2011 at 1:16 am #

    Yes please do Peter. You always capitalise and therefore shout TIDAL at Susan and at others who have posted.
    Also Peter, during low inflow sequences we pay way in excess of $100/ML for water we have already purchased.
    Can you also explain what you mean about the Greens in the senate? Do you mean they will or won’t agree with the next draft of the plan?

  49. Debbie May 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Just noticed my last comment could be misinterpreted.
    We already pay in excess of $100/ML for water we have already purchased.
    Even this year when water is abundant, some HS water uses, after all costs re water were calculated paid approx
    $500/ML.Your comment about water prices once again is indicating that you do not understand how the allocation system works Peter.
    It appears to me that Susan is entirely correct when she commented about the noise from below lock 1.
    I will also add that broad acre irrigators on GS licences paid well in excess of $100/ML for water they had already puchased and also for water that they never got during the drought.
    So that particular problem is not unique to irrigators below Lock 1. After reading your post I would suspect their water must be relatively inexpensive?

  50. Susan May 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Deb,

    This news article has prices that the farmers are paying from SA Water for the new piped water as compared to letting the cows wander into Lake Alex and Lake Albert.

    http://sj.farmonline.com.au/news/state/niche/general/farmers-struggle-under-rising-water-costs/2126270.aspx?storypage=0

    From the article above…

    …Mr Angas runs 1500 head of mixed breed beef cattle and does a small amount of cropping on his 3200-hectare farm south-east of Meningie.

    “The problem with the lake is that it’s marginal for quality and putting a pipeline in would only be under the assumption that water quality is going to improve and stay of a high quality for a long period of time.”

    “We need about 15 megalitres of water a year for our business and we’re paying the equivalent of $2480/mgL and we pay it every year.”

  51. Debbie May 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    ROFL!!!
    I would love to see how they got that one in there!
    This report claims therefore that they pay $37,200 per year for 15ML of S & D water?
    The figs got seriously scrambled there between treated town water and S D water.
    If that figure was correct then no one could possibly farm. Commodity prices are not good enough to return per megalitre at that price.
    It is likely however that shortages and trading during the drought could have pushed the M L price up to that level or even higher for short periods of time. It certainly did here. In order to keep stock and permanent plantings alive, some farmers were forced to pay more than that at critical times in 2007/08/09.

  52. Peter R. Smith OAM May 28, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    Hi Dennis,
    Your comment, “It made me angry that they could say the Basin is on the verge of ecological collapse and then censor the thread to exclude contrary opinion” also enrages me as people who don’t understand the Basin believe them!
    Hi Debbie & Susan,
    An explanation in my own words: -
    Many hundreds of years ago before white man invaded this country the River was able to flow as it had done for thousands of (probably millions) years winding its way from the source near the Great Dividing Range cutting its way into softer soils creating a river in places with 100’s of feet of cliffs on in some cases two sides but mostly on one side, also with wide flood plains.
    As this mighty River flowed out of the mouth, at times with much fury but alas sometimes the flow was reduced to little or nil.
    Depending on the magnitude of the flow the actual opening at the mouth moved quite a distance over that millions of years.
    At times like in the last 6 to 8 months (of record inflows) when the river ran a bumper, unheeded by dams, weirs, locks etc, the river flowed out into the Great Southern Ocean with fury flushing all sediments from all the way through the Rivers in our (now) Murray Darling Basin.
    As the River actually flowed it maintained the lakes as freshwater lakes though in times of extreme drought (like the last decade) the River was of course not powerful enough to restrict the inflow of seawater.
    At those times the tide was more powerful and at times seawater aquatic creatures were seen and caught as far upstream as Swan Reach –Tidal Flow.
    Then white man decided the growing of food would be made far easier if we irrigated but as the inflows could not always be counted on it was decided to build huge restrictions to the Rivers flow.
    As part of that building of dams, weirs, locks and then later the Snowy Mountain Scheme white man irrevocably altered the River.
    In the first plans it was decided to erect 26 Locks along the River but as this would have been far too time consuming and far more expensive than was first anticipated so the decision was, so as to keep the Lower River un-contaminated by seawater to build barrages restricting the flow to the Ocean.
    If the system had of been estuarine, right from the very beginning, the lakes would have been totally surrounded by a seawater environment with seawater flora and fauna and this is not the case.
    An estuarine environment is an environment that is at ‘ALL’ times brackish or saltier and non-potable for critical human needs and also the needs of irrigation.
    My point about the cost of getting of getting suitable irrigation water supplies is not about the price paid for the entitlement it is about the massive difference of using your own delivery system direct from the source or having it delivered by SA Water.

  53. susan May 28, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Nice fable you have going on there Peter, too bad it’s not supported by the facts.

    You might like to read this observation from a local Lakes resident…

    http://www.lakesneedwater.org/stuff/Lower_Lakes_Ecological_Character.pdf

  54. Peter R. Smith OAM May 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Hi Susan,
    Very interesting I had seen it before but read it at your request and I couldn’t find anywhere in the article reference to the Lakes being estuarine! Of course I may have missed it!

  55. susan May 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Hi Peter,

    Yes, you did miss it.

    The plants noted are generally found around areas that are estuarine or have been estuarine, that’s the point.

    So the graziers are taking advantage of plants that can grow around the Lower Lakes EVEN IF THEY WERE SALTY, OR ESTUARINE OR TIDAL… My turn to shout.

    And yet, the very same people who published this document are supporters of a fresh only regime of the Lower Lakes.

    Does that help?

  56. Peter R. Smith OAM May 28, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    Hi Susan,
    Sorry I missed that, but no it really doesn’t help.
    The paragraph, “The disastrous ecological, social and economic consequences of acid sulphate soils, wind blown erosion of exposed lake bed, corrosion of structures, sand drift deposition along shore lines, emergency construction of bunds and regulators, slumping banks and impact on lakeside communities – all could have been avoided by opening the barrages appropriately to allow hydraulic connectivity between the ocean and the lakes and the development of a dynamic estuary at sea level for the duration of the drought” whilst is correct as to what occurred if people think that all of those problems could be solved by allowing seawater to invade the Lakes Alexandrina and Albert they are only partly right as one repair will bring a MAJOR problem.
    Seawater being allowed to mix with the freshwater below Lock 1 will because of a number of factors including wind seiching will render all water below Lock 1 un-potable and once again including SA’s main water supplies.
    I will continue to press for a, “Risk Assessment Impact Statement” into the construction of Lock Zero, refer http://www.psmithersmyriver.com/Lock Zero
    And once we have one scientific opinion contradicting another!

  57. Peter R. Smith OAM May 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Hi Susan,
    After reading the information of the link supplied I would point out the following from the paragraph, “The disastrous ecological, social and economic consequences of acid sulphate soils, windblown erosion of exposed lake bed, corrosion of structures, sand drift deposition along shore lines, emergency construction of bunds and regulators, slumping banks and impact on lakeside communities – all could have been avoided by opening the barrages appropriately to allow hydraulic connectivity between the ocean and the lakes and the development of a dynamic estuary at sea level for the duration of the drought.
    1) The acid sulphate soils – proven fact freshwater is more effective!
    2) Windblown erosion – any water will stop that!
    3) Corrosion of structures – freshwater best!
    4) Sand drift along shorelines – any water will stop that!
    5) Emergency construction of bunds and regulators – should never have been built!
    6) Slumping banks – to alienate this it would have meant as the River had dropped by over minus 1.0-metre below AHD at Mannum (a drop of over 2-metres) that we would have needed to raise the level of the River Murray by at least 1.5-metres ensuring that SA’s potable water was non-existent from all pumping stations below Lock 1, no irrigation below Lock 1, no water for stock and the death of all freshwater vegetation below Lock 1.
    And to repair my last comment on my previous post,
    And once again we have one scientific opinion contradicting another! Who do we believe?

  58. Debbie May 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    But Peter?
    Your assertation that ‘any water will stop that’ completely ignores the problem that has sparked this whole debate. Especially when added to your second assertation that ‘proves freshwater is best’.
    You may believe that freshwater is best but you seem to have completely forgotten that in run of low inflow sequences there simply isn’t enough fresh water available to solve these problems.
    You have also completely ignored Susan’s point about the failure of environmental organisations to address the actual issue.
    If you thought my earlier comment was ‘spot on’ then you must have changed your mind about that too.

  59. Peter R. Smith OAM May 30, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    Hi Debbie,
    The, “any water will stop that” were extremely minor problems during the drought years.
    You say, “you seem to have completely forgotten that in run of low inflow sequences there simply isn’t enough fresh water available to solve these problems” NO I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN and I realise that during drought times there will be a deficiency of freshwater and it is a major problem that has to be overcome by consultation , the dialogue continuing between politicians, stakeholders, scientists and having political will.
    “The failure of environmental organisations to address the actual issue” is a real issue but ALL environmental organisations too converse with a will to succeed.
    Re, “spot on” you were but that doesn’t mean I agree with opening or removing the Barrages instead of seeking the implausible the option that will ruin the River Murray below Lock 1 it is about time all with that idea began to put as much pressure as possible on all politicians, the MDBA and all other stakeholders to for a RISK ASSESSMENT INTO THE CONSTRUCTION OF LOCK ZERO as before a salt water option is considered we MUST ensure potable water supplies.
    And please take note of my point 6) Slumping banks – to alienate this it would have meant as the River had dropped by over minus 1.0-metre below AHD at Mannum (a drop of over 2-metres) that we would have needed to raise the level of the River Murray by at least 1.5-metres ensuring that SA’s potable water was non-existent from all pumping stations below Lock 1, no irrigation below Lock 1, no water for stock and the death of all freshwater vegetation below Lock 1.
    Our vulnerability is the problem as we are at the bottom of the Basin but we are no less Australian stakeholders who must be considered.

  60. Susan May 30, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Peter,

    If you remember there was no freshwater to fix the problems you’ve numbered above. The MDB was down to it’s last 2500 GL for all the townships on the river. At that time 2000 GL needed to fill the lakes would have wiped everyone out.

    If the barrages are opened seawater comes in and maintains the Lake levels around sea level, or 0 m AHD. If you look at the bathymetry lake maps, at 0 AHD just about all the potential acid sulphate soils are covered by seawater. If they use the tides coming and going each day, and as you have told me many times the Lakes are ‘TIDAL’, they can keep the Lakes from going acidic.

    Check out this recent Catalyst video about how the Queenslanders have used seawater to mitigate their acid soil problems. http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3221659.htm . SO YES SEAWATER DOES WORK.

    The problem with our local SA experts is that the government is dictating that the lakes have to be kept fresh, so when they look at the seawater and acid soil problem, they only ever look at it in a static way. They call for letting in just a bit of seawater and then letting it sit there. All with this idea that the seawater is something we have to get rid of.

    Again, I think a Lock Zero is a good idea since it gives that much more management control to the river.

  61. Peter R. Smith OAM May 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Hi Susan,
    I realise there was no freshwater to maintain a good pool level during the drought and it would have taken 1600-gigalitres to maintain +0.75 AHD but if Lock Zero were in place that figure would be reduced to about 500-gigalitres.
    If seawater were by tidal flow to invade the Lakes Alexandrina and Albert it would have helped negate the acid sulphate problem (this was the first time this have been a major problem) but freshwater is better – I don’t know why!
    A level of minimum + 0.3 or 0.4 AHD is a necessity to ensure all irrigation infrastructures can be maintained, all ferries can operate without huge ramps and wings and all boat ramps can be used.
    As for River Bank collapse, it’s not slumping, as in some places especially at Long Island Marina the amount of River Bank that has collapsed would be thousands of tonnes of River Bank and the only way to stop this by maintaining at least + 0.3 AHD it’s about pressure being maintain by hydraulic pressure from a maintained pool level!
    Before anybody or group discuss allowing seawater to invade there must first be a, “RISK ASSESSMENT INTO THE CONSTRUCTION OF LOCK ZERO” that risk assessment is an assessment not only into what would happen below Lock 1 but as a management option for the River Murray and the Murray Darling Basin.
    My group (of which I am the spokesman) will continue to oppose any action before a Risk Assessment!

  62. Debbie May 30, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    You are still missing the point that Susan has been trying to make Peter.
    Your arguments are bouncing backwards and forwards and the only clear point you make is that you want the barrages to stay in place and that the Lakes should stay fresh.
    As Susan has said, this is essentially a pragmatic and political solution. It does not recognise the natural estaurine/tidal history of the lower lakes. Environmental groups are either misinformed or misrepresenting.
    They are attempting to frame an argument based on false assumptions.
    Susan has also explained that SA must have fresh water as it is essential to the natural environment as well.
    If SA truly wants a fresh water only solution then it needs to come up with ways to do so that does not involve shutting down upstream storages or endangering the Lakes or interfering with critical water supplies in low inflow sequences.
    SA also needs to be honest about the environmental consequences of that solution. Extra flushing will not solve the problems that have emerged there.
    Constant water pressure is also a bit of a Myth. You will only get that with extra storage and extra regulation. It has never really been naturally or consistently supplied from upstream. Letting the tidal prism back would give you a better chance of that.

  63. Peter R. Smith OAM May 31, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    Hi Debbie,
    For goodness sake, YES I want the Barrages to stay in place; I want a risk assessment into the construction of Lock Zero as a management option for not only the Lower River Murray but the whole River Murray and the overall Murray Darling Basin.
    Everyone has a different option based on what they believe and the politicians are just stuffing around. If Lock Zero is an option and is constructed the River Murray between Lock 1 and Lock Zero can ensure at least a pool level of + 0.3 or 0.4 AHD ensuring full functioning of all infrastructure in that section and water can be pulsed into Lake Alexandrina (when available) to maintain a freshwater environment and when this is not possible some seawater can be introduced!
    Trying to tell me that, “Constant water pressure is also a bit of a Myth” is absolute bullshit the problems caused by the River Banks collapsing is caused by extremely low River pool level and has caused many Marinas millions dollars of damage, some sealed roads have cracked and dropped with the damage running into millions of dollars, pumping stations and power infrastructure has, because of bank cracking collapsed into the river, pump out stations along sections of the Lower River Murray have been closed or cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair, irrigation infrastructure has had to be moved, in some cases hundreds of metres from the river, boat ramps have cracked and are now unusable, some properties close to the banks are now no longer habitable, huge sections of public reserves have had to be closed and I could go on but overall the damage bill below Lock 1 will amount to many millions of dollars and no insurance cover is available! So Debbie give me a break I understand and if you would like some real proof come over and have a look I would be happy to give you a guided tour.

  64. Debbie May 31, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    Those problems are not unique to below lock one Peter. Low levels caused problems all over the system.. Many $millions have been lost with no insurance. That’s why I made the comment about consistent water pressure being a bit of a Myth. There is nothing consistent about flow levels or pressure in the MDB. Tidal pressure would actually be more consistent for your end of the system.
    There are ways to improve this, but extra flushing is not one of them.
    Susan’s point about the environmental groups either being misinformed or perhaps misrepresenting the actual problem are valid.
    It is difficult to solve an issue if people are arguing about the wrong problem.

  65. Peter R. Smith OAM June 1, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    Hi Debbie,
    As I said gimme a break, “That’s why I made the comment about consistent water pressure being a bit of a Myth” that is 100% absolute bullshit, especially below Lock 1. Anyone who believes that doesn’t know the Lower (below Lock 1) River Murray.
    Ha ha, “Tidal pressure would actually be more consistent for your end of the system” another load of bullshit, Debbie without a regulator at or near Wellington that would be a bloody disaster, how many more times do I have to explain that unregulated tidal flow into Lakes Alexandrina and Albert would completely destroy the economy and environment of the Lower River Murray.
    Whilst we are both looking for a suitable outcome you don’t understand my home section of the Murray Darling Basin and the River Murray.
    Artificial restrictions to the flow of the River Murray have allowed the Locks to maintain an artificial pool level ie, the pool level maintain upstream of most locks (it not all) on the River Murray have maintained the same River level as when Paddle Steamers plied there trade.
    Below Lock 1 this was impossible as I have tried to explain. At Grieger’s Landing 10-kilometres upstream of Swan Reach, during the height of the drought, I walked across the River not getting water to my waist and I am short!
    When I travelled to the Murray Darling Association AGM at Beechworth last September and displayed the large photos of River bank collapse, fallen infrastructure, cracked and dropping roads (not useable), houses that are not longer habitable, cracked in half and worse boat ramps and a great deal more all who viewed those photos couldn’t believe the damage that had been caused from Blanchetown to Wellington.
    Don’t play me for a fool I have lived on or near this River on and off for some 65-years and the banks I used to fish from as a child are no longer there!

  66. debbie June 1, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    I’m not taking you for a fool Peter,
    I’m sorry you thought that.
    What I was trying to point out is that low levels (and then subsequent emergency water releases) caused similar problems all over the MDB. I guess the only place it didn’t was behind those locks on the Murray because the Murray was kept flowing throughout the whole drought.
    This would be despite the fact that if it had been left up to nature it would have completely dried up.
    Any other lake systems and several sections of the Darling, the Tumut, The Murrumbidgee, the Lachlan etc, all suffered from bank degradation and collapse. Some of them were very serious.
    The banks I used to fish from as a child are no longer there either.
    My point was that the problems you are referring to are not unique to your area in the MDB.
    You seem to have taken offence rather than understanding the point that Susan and I were making.
    It has all been changed Peter.
    It is mankind who has partly contributed to that change.
    “Mother Nature” has also had some say in this as well.
    Some of the changes that have been made by man and by mother nature have actually made things better. Some of them have made things worse.
    I am not a fan of people crying about specific areas where serious mistakes have been made (and in this case it is the lower lakes) and then pretending it’s because we’re environmental rapists.
    That is actually BS! That was Susan’s point!
    I also think it is counter productive to take productive resources away from areas where we have made things even more productive and habitable in order to throw more water at areas where there have been some serious mistakes made. On top of this we have environmental lobby groups pretending it’s because we need to ‘restore’ areas to their natural state?????
    Do you understand Susan’s point now?
    You need extra locks and weirs and storage down there Peter.
    We also need extra work to happen upstream.
    The problems developing down there are not solely because of upstream and the Eastern States. Most of SA’s problems and issues have been caused by local decisions.
    As I have argued many times, I personally think it’s wiser to reconnect the Coorong to its original water supply and also restore your lakes to their natural tidal prism/ estaurine condition. However, it should be up to South Australians to decide what needs to happen there. Just remember that if you need more fresh water then it will have to be sourced in other ways because the drought has just taught all of us that we don’t have enough back up storage to supply all demands in a run of low inflow years.
    No amount of politicking can produce water out of thin air Peter.
    If it’s not available, it just isn’t available.

  67. Peter R. Smith OAM June 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    No it was only a dig!
    At some times during the drought there was no flow over Lock 1 and I realise if it weren’t for the Locks etc the River Murray would have dried up and then fortunately Mother Nature gave the country a much needed drink.
    Yes, I know it has been changed and much of that was us and it some cases we did not do a very good job.
    When I am talking banks along the River, the particular Bank collapsed and that collapse was over 200-meters long and 30-metres wide, massive!
    The term, “we’re environmental rapists” is not one I like either.
    The term, “On top of this we have environmental lobby groups pretending it’s because we need to ‘restore’ areas to their natural state” is bullshit as the only way we could do that is remove all flow regulators and dams and weir etc those bastards are mad!
    Firstly storages, the age old problem, whilst we have been talking about this for years sadly there is just nowhere in SA we can build extra storages.
    Our problems are our own not other peoples but when the Locks were planned there was to be 26 with no barrages and the Federal Government made the decision to finish building the Locks at lock 1 and construct the barrages so as to ensure SA’s freshwater supplies for the various requirements.
    It is really up to the MDBA to make decisions after the proper consultation and for the Federal Government to put whatever into place.
    This is a MDB problem but it is of mammoth problem and the decision is not an easy one.
    The previous Chairman of the MDBA, when he spoke at a gathering at Murray Bridge, talk about fluctuating the Lake levels and as I commented to him that cannot be done from Lock 1 and his answer we will need to look at your proposal for Lock Zero and that was the last I heard of it!
    I realise that when water is not available there will be trouble that is why we make the point: – During the drought when water flowed over Lock 1 it flowed all the way to the barrages and my example was a milk bottle of water flowing passed Wellington each day but if we had a Torrumbarry type Weir we could of held water and pulsed it into Lake Alexandrina pulsing through what was available and that could have been in cases millions of milk bottles of water.
    I believe the MDBA should request the Federal Government carry out a Risk Assessment into all facets of the construction of Lock Zero, it is no longer the umpires decision but a Risk Assessment for the MDB!

  68. debbie June 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Thankyou Peter,
    I do not agree however that we should leave it to the MDBA.
    Not unless there is far greater input from MDB communities and also from people who understand that it is more about sensible water management than ‘science’ and climate models.
    Hysterical reactions to a severe drought and ‘climate change’ theories has seen common sense fly out the window.
    Don’t forget Susan’s point about the failure of environmental lobby groups to address the actual problems as well.
    Also, I have seen plans to provide extra water storage in SA. It also possible, if there was the will to do it, to reconnect water that has been diverted out to sea on the south eastern areas of your state.
    There are ways to do it, there are plans to do it, there is unfortunately no political will.
    This is a great tragedy because we are failing to recognise that our inability to address these problems is also having severe environmental impacts.
    Inaction will jave just as many consequences as action. Action from false assumptions and attempts to solve the wrong problem with the wrong resources is the ultimate tragedy!
    It has never been a good idea, anywhere in the history of the world, to take productive resources away from good sustainable enterprises.
    It is an even worse idea to then use those resources to solve a problem that can’t be solved with those resources! That is just plain ridiculous.
    So far, that is all that this whole process has recommended and they’re using false information about our environment as their excuse to do it.
    Bad idea!

  69. Peter R. Smith OAM June 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi Debbie,
    It’s a MDBA decision as Lakes Alexandrina, Albert and the Coorong are within the MDB but of course there must be, “far greater input from MDB communities and also from people who understand that it is more about sensible water management than ‘science’ and climate models and re ‘climate change’ whilst I have done a great deal of work on ‘cc’ I am still not prepared to accept what the PM is saying.
    The “environmental lobby” have to be prepared to put in but realise everyone else must be heard and considered they are not the be-all and end-all of the final decision.
    Re SA storage I have been part of the Government discussions and I am not really happy with the comment we can construct extra storages but we can increase the size and walls of some of our storages.
    Re the water from the South East my mate is the person in charge of the investigations and he is telling me that over 100-kilometres of channels would need to be constructed but the amount of available water will not help the Coorong.
    If you send me your Email (mine is on my http://www.psmithersmyriver.com) I will send you the presentation delivered a week or so ago about what is being considered. I could also send you the SA monthly River Reports!
    Yes, “Action from false assumptions and attempts to solve the wrong problem with the wrong resources is the ultimate tragedy” is certainly a problem!

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