Media Watch Under Scrutiny

MEDIA Watch contacted me on Friday with a barrage of questions concerning my work on the need to restore the Murray River’s estuary. Their line of questioning suggested that I was misleading the Australian public on the important issue of water reform in the Murray Darling. Indeed, the implication was that I am but a stooge for vested interests.

It appears Media Watch is contemplating asserting or implying that my professional judgement and integrity as a scientist has been influenced or corrupted by personal financial gain.  Accordingly, I have sought legal advice on the matter, and include this in my full response that can be downloaded here:

http://jennifermarohasy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/JenniferMarohasy_ReplytoMediaWatch_Amended12March.pdf

My responses to their specific questions also follows:

Media Watch: Do you accept that the vast majority of recognised experts on the natural history and hydrology of the Lower Lakes disagree with your conclusion that they were estuarine immediately prior to the erection of the Murray Mouth barrages, or at any time in the past 2000 years?

Jennifer Marohasy: No. The relevant scientific literature, as published in peer-reviewed journals by recognised experts, indicates that the Lower Lakes were estuarine prior to the erection of the Murray Mouth barrages.

The following quote from a scientific paper published in the journal Marine Geology by Professors R.P. Bourman, A.P. Belperio, C.V. Murray-Wallace and N. Harvey, citing E. Barnett, seems to sum up the conclusion of these recognised experts:

“Originally a vibrant, highly productive estuarine ecosystem of 75,000 ha, characterised by mixing of brackish and fresh water with highly variable flows, barrage construction has transformed the lakes into freshwater bodies with permanently raised water levels; freshwater discharge has been reduced by 75% and the tidal prism by 90% (Bourman and Barnett, 1995; Harvey, 1996).”

Professor John Cann and co-workers have studied fossil foraminifera – tiny protozoa with shells of calcium carbonate preserved in the sediments of the Lower Lakes – concluding that the changes in the foraminiferal assemblages over the most recent 2,000 years indicate a general trend of increasing marine influence, up until the construction of the barrages that now block the natural ebb and flow between the Lower Lakes and Southern Ocean.

Professor Peter Gell writing in the recently published The Sage Handbook of Environmental Change has commented that the natural state of the Lower Lakes was tidal, that the lakes have been incorrectly listed as freshwater in the International Ramsar Convention, and that until their natural estuarine character is recognised it will be difficult to reverse the long-term decline in their ecological health.

Geoscience Australia classifies the Lower Lakes as part of a wave dominated barrier estuary with positive annual hydrodynamics.

UPDATE:  I have been informed by Media Watch that they will NOT be running their intended program tonight (“This item will not be on this week’s show”).  It would appear that the possibility of a defamation action coupled with a solid explanation of the science and history of the Lower Lakes has caused Media Watch to change their program.   I would like to particularly thank those people who sent emails to Media Watch this morning. 

Media Watch: Can you point us to any recognised scientific expert who supports your view?

Jennifer Marohasy: I have already answered this question. But I would like to add some information.

My recent report, Plugging the Murray’s Mouth: The Interrupted Evolution of a Barrier Estuary, focuses on the geomorphology of the Murray River’s estuary. Professors Bourman and Murray-Wallace as quoted in my answer to your previous question, are recognised scientific experts on coastal geomorphology. What they have published in the relevant scientific literature is consistent with my contention that Lake Alexandrina is a Holocene formation and was the central basin of a wave-dominated barrier estuary until construction of the barrages.

In my report I explain that while a rational person, familiar with the available evidence, would likely come to this same conclusion, it is in fact the policy of the South Australian and Commonwealth governments and the Murray Darling Basin Authority to deny this history – to deny this science.

Thus according to the Murray Darling Basin Authority:

“Microscopic analysis of single-celled algae (Diatoms) also provides evidence that in the 7,000 years since they were formed, the Lower Lakes would have been mainly fresh with rare seawater inflows.”

And according to the South Australian government:

“The diatom record in lakebed sediments provides strong evidence that the Lower Lakes have been predominantly freshwater for the last 7,000 years and that seawater ingressions, when they did occur, did not extend north of Point Sturt.”

In fact two of the earliest maps of the Lower Lakes, drawn in 1838 and 1844, include comment on water quality and clearly show that waters north of Point Sturt were brackish consistent with seawater ingressions (see Maps 1 and 2 in supplementary material at the above link).

Relying almost exclusively on a single quote in the executive summary of a report commissioned by the South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage prepared by Jennie Fluin, Deborah Haynes and John Tibby, it has become popular for environmental activists, science managers and government bureaucrats to claim:

“There is no evidence in the 7,000 year record of substantial marine incursions into Lake Alexandrina.”

Following the release of my report the South Australian State River Murray Minister Paul Caica said the idea that before the construction of barrages in 1940 the Lower Lakes were predominantly an estuarine environment “is a myth and not supported by science”.  He was quoted as saying:

“Science based on … sediment deposited in the Lower Lakes tells us that they have been predominantly a fresh water environment for the last 7000 years.”

This claim implies that the modern pre-barrage Murray River estuary represents a steady-state that was formed de novo some time prior to 7,000 years, and which has remained essentially unchanged since. Such an interpretation denies geological and environmental reality, for the scientific literature clearly shows that Lake Alexandrina has a marine origin that dates back to a period of late Pleistocene and Holocene sea level rise (say over the last approximately 12,000 years). During this time the coastal sand barrier and related landward estuarine environments have evolved and changed naturally, including manifold changes in salinity in different parts of the estuarine complex.

Drs Fluin, Haynes and Tibby have published papers discussing the past history of lakes and wetlands based on the presence or absence of particular species of diatom – unicellular algae with bodies of silica – in sediment cores. But their claim that there is no evidence of substantial marine incursions is at odds with not only what we know about how Southern Australian estuaries evolved and now function, but also many studies published in reputable scientific journals including research papers authored by the same scientist, Drs Fluin, Haynes and Tibby. Indeed the claim is inconsistent with the specific diatom assemblage described in their published papers and also in their report to the South Australian government.

The Fluin et al. analysis of diatoms in sediment cores also ignores a large international scientific literature that shows that the majority of reported diatom species have a salinity tolerance in excess of 50 per cent seawater. It is difficult to understand why this critical fact was not discussed by these scientists in their report to government. Most of the diatom species are common in estuaries around the world including in Japan, China, India, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, the UK, Portugal, Holland and Sweden.

The Murray Darling Basin Authority has measurements of salt levels in Lake Alexandrina (as measured from the Milang jetty) for the period immediately prior to the sealing of the barrages. This data shows that salinity levels fluctuated and, for example, exceeded 38 per cent seawater level for a period of six months from October 1938 until May 1939, consistent with Lake Alexandrina being part of an estuary. This data also shows that after the barrages were sealed the lakes became permanently fresh. Why has this information been omitted from reports to government?

That the waters of Lake Alexandrina were often brackish during the early period of European settlement, but before the construction of the barrages, is also consistent with newspaper reports from this period and from early maps – as detailed in supplementary information provided in the above link.

Media Watch: It is a central part of your argument that the removal of the Murray mouth barrages would obviate the need to increase environmental flows of fresh water into the lower lakes?

Jennifer Marohasy: Yes. And if I may explain why:

During the recent protracted Millennium drought, water levels in Lake Alexandrina fell precipitously from 0.85 metres above sea level to -1.10 metres below. There was simply not enough water in upstream water storages to keep both Lake Alexandrina and the adjacent Lake Albert supplied with adequate water notwithstanding the Snowy diversions and strictly limited allocations for irrigation during the drought.

To deal with this problem of low lake level and concomitant declining water quality, the South Australian government could have opened the 593 gates within the 7.6 km wide barrage system to allow the ingress of Southern Ocean waters. Instead the South Australian government chose to keep the gates shut tight. This choice was not discussed or reported in the national media in any way. Instead, during the drought, television cameras focused on either the receding lake waters or on the sand dredge working to keep the Murray’s mouth open, conveniently avoiding images of the massive man-made sea dykes (known as barrages) that inhibit the cleansing and proper functioning of the former natural estuary system. Media Watch, amongst other public affairs programs, was apparently asleep on this issue.

As soon as the next floodwaters arrived, in the spring of 2010, the government opened the gates to let excess freshwater out.

Melbourne’s Yarra River empties into Port Phillip Bay. We don’t expect the Yarra River to keep Port Phillip Bay full of freshwater. But we do expect the Murray River to keep Lakes Alexandria and Albert full of freshwater, even during drought. This is a nonsense that has been pounded into our brains, but nevertheless repetition of such an untruth does not make it true.

Interestingly, the Yarra River has 57 per cent of its natural flow left within the river, i.e. available to the environment. Currently the Murray has a similar level of water extraction, with 58 per cent remaining for the environment. In June 2011, the Yarra was short-listed for a prestigious international environmental award, while the Murray River was being described by activist group, GetUp!, as on the brink of ecological collapse because of inadequate environmental flow.

The Murray Darling is a large catchment and the upper Murray and Murrumbidgee are snow fed, so most years the river system can fill Lakes Alexandrina and Albert with freshwater. On average over the 42 years from 1968 to 2010, 5,920 gigalitres a year of freshwater has flowed over Lock 1 which is the last lock on the Murray River before the Lower Lakes, (see Map 3 with the supplementary information). That’s about 11 Sydney Harbour’s full of freshwater each year flowing into the Lower Lakes.

Media Watch: Obviously this would be in the interests of irrigators and water-rights entrepreneurs upstream.

Jennifer Marohasy: You’ve made a statement. I am not sure what the question is or that I have the necessary expertise to respond. Except to perhaps comment that it is in the interests of all Australians for the Murray River’s estuary to be restored and for the Lower Lakes to be allowed to fill with seawater when the next drought impacts the Murray Darling basin.

Media Watch: In June last year the Adelaide Advertiser and The Land identified Mr Johnny Kahlbetzer of Twynam Agricultural Group as a “supporter” of the Myth of the Murray Group. Was he a financial supporter?

Jennifer Marohasy: Yes. Johnny Kahlbetzer was a financial supporter of the Myth and the Murray Group and this has been declared at the Myth and the Murray website and to anyone who has asked.

Media Watch: Is he, to your knowledge, a financial supporter of the Australian Environment Foundation? Are any other irrigators and water-rights entrepreneurs financial supporters of the AEF?

Jennifer Marohasy: To my knowledge Mr Kahlbetzer is not a financial supporter of the Australian Environment Foundation. I am not privy to the membership or accounts of the Australian Environment Foundation. I would hope there were some irrigators who were financial supporters. I understand there are irrigators who have been financial supporters of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Media Watch: Have you personally received financial support for your scientific work from any such interested parties?

Jennifer Marohasy: No. I would have liked to receive financial support for my scientific work from such interested parties. Over the last few years my scientific interest in the Lower Lakes has been mostly self-funded. To be clear, Mr Kahlbetzer provided financial support for me to visit Canberra and Adelaide last year as the spokesperson for the Myth and the Murray Group. I declared this support when I met with politicians including through the official lobbying register. Mr Kahlbetzer is not, and has not been interested in supporting my scientific research.

Media Watch: If so, should such support not have been declared in the relevant publications?

Jennifer Marohasy: If such support were provided it would have been declared in the relevant scientific publications.

The Australian Environment Foundation commissioned my recent report on the geomorphology of the Murray River’s estuary. I declared this in the report’s acknowledgements.

Media Watch: Have you received support from other organisations (other than your university and the normal grant-giving academic bodies), such as the IPA or the Heartland Institute?

Jennifer Marohasy: I have never been paid by the Heartland Institute. I worked for the IPA as a salaried employee on contract from 2003 until 2009. During this time I attended a conference on climate change organized by the Heartland Institute.

I have recently published scientific papers including on risk assessment, rainfall forecasting using artificial intelligence and climate change. This work was financially supported by the B. Macfie Family Foundation and is acknowledged as such in the publications. The B. Macfie Family Foundation was established and is run by a Perth-based philanthropist who is concerned that public policy should be evidence-based.

Media Watch: In your recent opinion columns in The Land and you appear to make no declaration to your readers about your long-standing history of public campaigning on the Murray. Do you think you have any obligation to do so?

Jennifer Marohasy: No. My long-standing history of public campaigning on the Murray has grown in part from my arrangements with The Land newspaper. In particular, since 2004 I have written a fortnightly column for The Land and been paid a modest amount for each column. This money has at times over recent years been my only reliable and regular source of income.

I have tried to always write well-researched pieces on issues of relevance to The Land readers. As a consequence over this time I have researched water-related issues. From this research I have come to the considered, though unpopular opinion, that the current $10 billion dollar plan for water reform in the Murray Darling will deliver very little if any environmental benefit, while significantly reducing the capacity of irrigation farmers in the Murray Darling to produce food when there is adequate water in reservoirs.

Media Watch: As a founding member and past chair of the Australian Environment Foundation, do you feel The Land’s description of you as “an environmental writer based in Rockhampton, Queensland” is an adequate explanation of your interest in this issue?

Jennifer Marohasy: The statement is accurate but certainly not a complete description of my interest in this issue. I am a scientist with a PhD from the University of Queensland with interests in a range of important environmental issues. My current position is as a research fellow with Central Queensland University working in collaboration with other recognised research scientists. For example, our recent publication in the journal Human and Ecological Risk Assessment examines the impact of the herbicide Diuron on mangroves. Another paper recently accepted by the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences examines the application of artificial neural networks to forecasting rainfall in Queensland. One of our current major interests is the examination of the evidence relating to changes in salinity levels in Lake Alexandrina, South Australia, over the last few thousand years. We are currently finalizing another scientific paper addressing this issue in depth.

I also write for The Land newspaper, with my column published every fortnight since April 2004. It is important for active scientists to communicate with the general public as well as with their fellow professional scientists.

***************
My entire response, with footnotes and also supplementary information including maps and newspaper quotes, can be downloaded here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/JenniferMarohasy_ReplytoMediaWatch_Amended12March.pdf

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105 Responses to Media Watch Under Scrutiny

  1. koalabear March 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Its such a pity the ABC are giving you a hard time and not focussing on resolving these important scientific issues. I do hope that Mediawatch have the good sense not to involve themselves in attacking the messenger as opposed to examining the science and history. Unfortunately Mediawatch is primarily an entertainment program, and they will make their decisions based on ratings and appealing to lowest viewer levels.

  2. Ross Johnson March 11, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Media Watch is of the same mentality of Judge Finkelstein who want to silence dissent because it does not suit their agenda.

    Keep up the pressure Jennifer, since we live in times of growing fascism under the cloak of the noble cause of saving the planet.

  3. Michael March 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    A strong media is essential for our democracy but it does seem that we have arrived at the point where they act as if they are the masters of the world and have little regard for individual rights. What has been happening in the UK with News Corp is a good example. They really do not care if they break the law and trample over the little people in society as long as they sell their sleazy papers or get more viewers. I agree that Media watch is just another entertainment show, there to poke fun at people and titilate the lowest common denominator. The concept is good, but the implementation needs a big overhaul. I’d put its jounalistic standards up there with Masterchef or Home and Away.

  4. Robert March 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    One of the great ironies: Media Watch is both doctor and disease. I won’t say MW dishonours the ABC. Rather, it typifies the ABC.

  5. spangled drongo March 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    The ABC bias is breathtaking. When did Media Watch ever ask questions like that of any lefty, “green” organisation?

    The facts are usually the last thing they want to know about.

    This is the usual sort of “investigative reporting” these watermelons provide:

    http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/heartland-documents-cargo-cult.html

    Give ’em hell, Jen!

  6. John Sayers March 12, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    Unbelievable – what’s it got to do with media watch?

    Clark and Dawe had a beauty this week

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3448734.htm

  7. hunter March 12, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    In the world of post-normal science, consensus rules, and to disagree with the consensus is by its nature a sign of corruption.
    It is amazing to me that allegedly free journalists take to suppression and intimidation and censorship like ducks to water.
    A bit OT, But look at this photo of the PM from a distance.
    It almost appears to be a baby kangaroo hanging over her blouse, and not the scarf it apparently is.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/data-hosting-in-grey-area-as-overseas-centres-come-on-stream/story-e6frgakx-1226092674443
    The core of the article is that apparently the climate-o-crats have no toleration for pesky things like public protest or discourse, and so are seeking ways to limit and criminalize other forms of eco and climate protest.
    One sign of a rancid out of control movement is that its believers and promoters have to resort to erosion of the liberties they demand for themselves in order to prevail in the public square.

  8. Luke March 12, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    Perhaps you should return them the courtesy by sending them a series of questions about Media Watch’s motives?

  9. WB March 12, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    Good on you, Jennifer. Seems to me from the nature of the questions Mediawatch already assumes you are in the pay of big oil or some such and therefore should be outed as a journalist who is not a sincere player in reporting on environmental issues. I hope they are wholly silent about you following the answers you’ve given.

  10. Pikey March 12, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    Hi Jennifer,
    from a warm and sunny Colorado.
    There is no major media player that has done more to sensationalise and misrepresent the facts in the water debateof the MDB that Their ABC.
    From when Bob Brown was lauded for his totally false claim the “the Murray was dieing,” to recent times Their ABC have been hell-bent on painting a false picture on the whole MDB story.
    At least 4 years ago Paul Sinclair was introduced by Tony Eastly on PM, as an expert on the Murray and Sinclair went on to say: “There is 1000 klms. of the Murray Valley where all of the river red gums are dead or dying.”
    “It is like driving from Melbourne to Sydney and only seeing dead trees beside the road.”
    Althoughy this was totally false and numerous phone calls were made and letters sent to the ABC, no retraction was ever offered.
    More importantly all attempts to have some practical and locally knowledegable people speak on this issue have been denied.
    While for the last four years Bob Brown, Paul Sinclair, the Wentworth Group and the ABC puppet, Richard Kingsford have had unlimited time to push the radical and false cause of environmentalists; wiser and practical council has been denied at Their ABC.
    Jennifer, your cause is just and your explanations and responses to Holme’s questions appear very rational.
    If Holmes continues with this piece and tries to discredit you by suggesting you are doing the bidding of big Irrigators, I believe the ABC will be further discerdited and eventually we will have a Government in Canberra with the balls to pull this sheltered workshop of overpaid, self-serving egotists into line.
    You will have considerable support from people dedicated to truth.
    Truth is worth defending as it is the rock foundation of our democracy.
    Stick with it.
    Pikey.

  11. Debbie March 12, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    Amazing!
    How come, as Pikey points out, MW hasn’t exposed the porkies told by the ABC and many others about the MDB and particularly about the history of the Coorong and the LL?
    You need to be congratulated for your persistence on this issue Jen.
    For this to be happening it must mean that the LL and COORONG conundrum is getting some real traction.
    They have gone into ‘shoot the messenger’ mode.
    Good idea from Luke.
    It would be wonderful to question the motives of the current political status quo. It appears to be traveling further & further from reality.

  12. Peter Oataway March 12, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Hello Jennifer + Media Watch

    I find it rich that Media Watch a taxpayer funded ABC media interest show is going down a path of questioning more suited to the Murray Darling Basin Authority of a Senate Inquiry.

    I have noticed this show between 4 Corners and Q&A move away from it’s original format Media scrutiny to something that more resembles BA Santamaria’s “Point of View” under it’s current host Jonathan Holmes.

    I raised the issue that on the morning and early afternoon of the Griffith Murray Darling Basin meeting, that ABC Riverina was asking on the radio for people who attended the meeting that had a “Environmental” point of view to contact them.

    Now that is what I call a traditional media watch story – media manipulation of a story

    Since the questioning from “Media Watch” questioning revolves around scientists working for organisations that accept funding I have got a question for “Media Watch”

    Robert Purves has financially assisted Professor Tim Flannery, The Wentworth Group and WWF – how many of the ‘recognised scientists’ the ABC uses in stories relating to the Murray Darling Basin are members of organisations Mr Purves provides financial backing to and should the media provide a disclaimer when these “recognised scientists” associated with Purves backed groups are being interviewed or offering opinion ?

    Former Media Watch host Paul Barry describes Robert Purves involvement in the Wentworth Group + WWF in the following “Power Index” article

    http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/rich-crusaders/robert-purves/201202261083

    I suggest the ABC looks to change the name of “Media Watch” as obviously the show is looking to break outside media confines into the broader political debate, perhaps the name “Point of View” as I mentioned earlier is a better fit for a crusader with a political agenda like Jonathan Holmes.

    Yours sincerely
    Peter Oataway

  13. Pete from Hay March 12, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Media watch walks past Robert Purves financing of the Wentworth Group and South Australian Government being Tim Flannery ex employer to attack you – what a pack of hypocrites with an enviro lobby hijacked agenda.

    I hope everyone here writes, emails, rings, tweets, blogs to the ABC, politicians, media watch, MDBA and the media about this nasty biased attack on Jennifer mainly aimed at derailing what for most of us is small irrigation community activism in trying to save our towns economic future.

    Here is a link from former Media Watch host Paul Barry about Robert Purves manipulation of the Wentworth Group and the MDBA process

    http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/rich-crusaders/robert-purves/201202261083

    Keep up the fight Jennifer – shame ABC for using taxpayers $ to be a mouthpiece of the Enviro lobby

  14. Robert March 12, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    It’s all constant sly imputation without frank accusation. These people are experts at doing a few bad things well. I often refer to our era as the Age of GetUp, where spin and “gotcha” are the main weapons of a junk-educated upper-crust who infest the pivot points of information and opinion.

    It seems like they have to win. But they are essentially weak, which is why they do what they do. Jennifer Marohasy is an independent-minded individual who has grit and persistence. In the end, you don’t beat that. Regardless of appearances, she will win.

  15. spangled drongo March 12, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Good suggestion, Luke.

  16. coniston March 12, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    Well written rebuttal. There is however, a typo – you have “period of six months from October 1838 until May 1939” ..a rather longer period than 6 months.

    Best of luck. I hope you may be successful in encouraging Media Watch to investigate the real ‘vested interests’ relating to Murray Darling.

  17. Raredog March 12, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    More power to you Jennifer. It is great to read common sense physical geography based on real world observations and empirical evidence take on the slowly corrupting influences that dominate the earth system science of today’s world with its a priori assumptions, parameterised model inputs and vague notions of equilibrium states. Be careful though, the MDB plan has little to do with environmental flows and river health. Like ACGW it is a divide-and-rule (or ends justify the means) Hegellian dichotomy being used to drive social change and selective empowerment at the expense of the rest of us.

    Rather than upgrade our irrigation delivery system (earth-lined channels open to the sky come to mind) and so increase water use efficiency (and maintain those regional tax receipts, even in the drier times) it is about water buybacks that will be sold to the highest bidders – agricorps and food security businesses for the most part. It will be they who will decide on water allocations in the future, and what crops are grown – biofuels anyone?

    The connection with my reference to ACGW is that many large corporations superannunation funds, eg BBC, are tied up with renewable energy schemes, which as we know, is intimately tied with ACGW both in legislation, NGOs’ commentary, and media presentation. Currently, media luvies and environmentals think they have power as they march in step for “The Cause” (with attempts to imply that the rest of us may be either in the pay of Big Oil, Coal, Irrigators, whoever, or suggestiing that perhaps our “denialism” is perhaps a mental illness) but they too will find themselves simply “grist for the mill”. Slowly the light is going on but the fifth columnists are in our midst and, if young, no longer have a good solid grounding in education so that they can, to paraphrase John Stuart Mill, understand “truth” for purposes of action.

  18. Mark A March 12, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    It always irritates me when people automatically question the funding of anyone who ever uttered an opinion.
    We all have to make a living and research does not come free.

    Checking facts first before looking for motives should be the priority.
    And this should be the case for both sides.

  19. Binny March 12, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Stand firm Jennifer the political thought police are notorious for their lack of scientific and historical knowledge. For them it is all about what the ‘in’ crowd is doing, nothing else matters.

  20. Bob Fernley-Jones March 12, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Jennifer,
    I was struck by the third map in your supplementary material. Like if it looks, walks and quacks like a duck, that’s what it is. Just substitute estuary for duck. A fairly complicated shape true, but it sure looks like an estuary to me.
    BTW, I’m reminded of the time when the so-called “The Science Show”, (supported by “Media Watch”), did that Bob Ward job on Bob Carter around the time of his book launch. There was lots of innuendo and stuff, and listeners were advised that Bob Carter’s written response (which was ignored during the actual discussion) was posted on their website, for the convenience of their listeners.
    Given that you have concisely laid it out in writing, and you copied the ABC MD, Mark Scott, Editor-in-Chief, a sensitive guy, I would doubt if much will happen tonight. Whatever, senator Abetz has always enjoyed interrogation of Scott in committee, and there are others that might well be interested.

  21. Alan Herath March 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Good work Jennifer. You have an excellent case and have given them every opportunity to “get it right” and plenty of rope if they haven’t. The likely good result of this issue getting on to Media Watch is that it will be another step towards spreading the truth about the Murray Mouth and how the Lower Murray has been mismanaged. The truth will spread by more people being made aware of the issues and possibly by consequential follow up by you and others. When I was a salaried water resources engineer with the South Australian Government in the 1970s the Government of the day published the Metropolitan Adelaide Water Resources Study report in June 1978 of which I was project leader and which was signed off in a Foreword by Des Corcoran who was Deputy Premier and Minister of Works at the time. That report dealt with a range of matters to do with River Murray low flows from a different perspective, along with various water supply and associated management initiatives for Adelaide. Since that time I have been a continuous campaigner /public speaker/letter writer to politicians, and academics/abc radio talkback commentator etc on the myths and mismanagement of Lakes Alexandrina and Albert. As some of the truth issues were discovered or uncovered by my work as a paid employee of the SA Govt, and which may have been subsequently buried or at least not adequately pursued , or perhaps not in keeping with subsequent political views, I invite Media Watch or anyone else to pursue me for the truth in any way they choose. If your readers would like to refer to my two comments on the proposed Murray Darling Basin Plan they will get some idea of the level of competence of current day engineers, environmentalists, and science as reported in that Plan and the Guide that preceded it.

  22. jennifer March 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    UPDATE: I have been informed by Media Watch that:

    “Just to let you know, this item will not be on this week’s show (tonight).”

    It would appear that the possibility of a defamation action coupled with a solid explanation of the science and history of the Lower Lakes has caused Media Watch not to run their intended program tonight.

    A big thank you for your support and especially to those few who contacted Media Watch and Politicians this morning,

    Jennifer

    PS As Coniston has pointed out there is an error on page 5, it should read 1938, not 1838. I will make this change in the blog post and I have already sent an amended letter to Media Watch which will be uploaded.

  23. Luke March 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    So I would have thought Jen’s proposal checks out environmentally. economically and socially. In fact, the hallowed triple bottom line.

    (1) saves massive amount of gigalitres from evaporation for other uses
    (2) protects Adelaide’s water supply from salt incursion up the Murray
    (3) restores estuary to a more natural and sustainable albeit dynamic state
    (4) local Lake users could have greater water efficiency if supplied by pipelines

    So wouldn’t the ABC be interested in the debate on better and perhaps heretical environmental ideas? If not – why not? For example – they gave Peter Andrews a big run on Natural Sequence Farming.
    If the irrigation industry profits from such a proposal – well good – society should be optimising the value of its often scarce water resources.

    So Jen – invite the ABC documentary

  24. val majkus March 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Go Jen!

  25. Robert March 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    No surprise that they backed down. I wouldn’t take you on either!

    Jen, these people are paid conformists. Luke’s excellent idea of an impartial documentary on such a crucial public-interest subject is likely to remain just an idea. Unlike the interesting NSF concept, your Murray proposals do not have “luvvie-appeal”. In the Lower Lakes, our Green Betters have finally found a dam they can like: expensive, impractical, damaging to agriculture and a conservation nightmare. Ticks all their boxes. (Plus, they get to obliterate a bit more of that pesky thing called the Past.)

    Still, it will be interesting to see if Luke can use his campaigning skills to promote his doco idea.

  26. john turner March 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Keep up the good work Jennifer. If Finkelstein is concerned about bias etc in the media he could start with the ABCs notorious bias against AGW sceptics,and,of course, media watch bias.

  27. william martin March 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Great work Jennifer !

    This quote comes to mind, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” (variously ascribed)

    Media Watch have pulled back from this fight. Better luck next time !

  28. Binny March 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Luke
    If the irrigation industry profits from such a proposal – well good

    That’s the fly in the ointment- too much emotional and political capital has been invested into demonizing irrigators to ever allow a proposal that may give some benefit to them.
    At least in the short term, in a year or two we may see the writing on the barn door changed to 4 legs good 2 legs better. But at the moment egos simply couldn’t cope with such a back flip

  29. Daremo March 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Hello, I was directed here from the Andrew Bolt blog. I have read your response in full and commend you for even bothering. I am not sure whAlfaalf of what they ask has to do with them? Anyway, just a note of support and a hoorah! for you. Keep your spirits up.

  30. John M March 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Well done Jennifer !

    I’m hoping that in the true spirit of ‘media watch’, they will post an official apology, along with a full report on your scientific findings. It’s also likely, from the line of questioning that there is some fear (within ABC/ MW) of water allocations being increased (or not decreased) if the basin was restored to pre-colonial times by removing the barrages.

    Perhaps you should submit a list of your own questions to MW to respond ?.
    EG:
    – What peer reviewed scientific references do you (MW) refer to in your Q “Do you accept that the vast majority of recognised experts on the natural history and hydrology of the Lower Lakes disagree with your conclusion that they were estuarine immediately prior to the erection of the Murray Mouth barrages, or at any time in the past 2000 years?”
    – Does ABC funding from the government influence MW reporting of issues incl. the MD Basin ?
    – Should MW state clearly that it’s primary funding source (ALP) is affiliated with a green political party with set policy agenda on the MDB.
    – Does MW receive money from any green or left wing political groups who have an active political agenda wrt to MD basin ?
    – Are any MW staff affiliated with political parties which may be in conflict with restoring the MDB to it’s natural state of esturine basin?

    Perhaps other readers can come up with a few more testing questions to throw back over the fence ?.

  31. jennifer March 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Thanks John M.
    And thanks to Andrew Bolt for the support here: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/why_are_we_paying_for_them_to_make_us_poorer/

  32. Gerry O'Connor March 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I don’t understand the need to rush off replies to media watch ….are they some sort of regular
    Story body that most of the population notice and care about ….Jennifer … You have ent an inordinate amount of time pandering to people who clearly don’t have your level of knowledge about this subject and it seems a waste of time IMO as they will carry on with their agenda regardless …..I’d let them say their piece and then make them prove their claims ….. all the best ….

  33. Hallier March 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Congratulations on your cogent (and well mannered) reply to MW.

    All the best with your future research.

  34. Hallier March 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    In addition with John’s posting, I’d like to ask MW whether they have sent a similar list of questions to someone like Tim Flannery (or some of the journalists such as Lenore Taylor) who make some alarming claims about the effects of climate change.

  35. John Sayers March 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    Gerry – if people like Jennifer don’t stand up to Media Watch they’ll continue to harass others as they have done Jennifer.

    I sent them an email giving them a serve – I also suggested they read this article from Jennifer back on 2003

    http://www.ipa.org.au/publications/548/why-save-the-murray-

    as it highlights how all the MDB BS started.

  36. Bernd Felsche March 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    I’ve reblogged this article adding only:

    Reading between the lines, one gets the impression that the ABC is unable to judge the quality of science and the conclusions drawn from it without knowing who funded the research.

  37. val majkus March 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    copy of a comment I’ve left on Catallaxy Files

    Token; I agree the media watch focus on Jennifer Marohasy is an example of bias

    I don’t recall Flannery, Garnaut, the CSIRO or BOM being asked to answer questions

    And why not; Jennifer answered the questions very well; how well would Flannery, Garnaut, and the others do

    for an example of the trumpeting by the media and BOM of ‘record Perth heatwaves’ see http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/

    Will media watch now send questions to BOM; if not; why not?

  38. spangled drongo March 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    And when they lie, steal and obfuscate, these hypocrites just carry on with business as usual and obviously accepted by the like-minded:

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/03/09/17-days-later-peter-gleick-is-back-in-the-saddle/

  39. MarcH March 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Why did Media Watch contact you and not Catalyst? These guys have no idea.

  40. Jazza March 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    That, ladies and gentlemen, is how to artfully and swiftly dissect an unprepared media idiot!

    VERY well done,Jennifer!

  41. nicholas tesdorf March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Good for you, Jennifer. I was delighted to see how you wiped the floor with that ugly crew from the ABC Media Watch. Why don’t they turn their blow-torch of a genuine waste of space like Tim Flannery instead? When I see that dreary drudge Johnathan Holmes appear on the screen, I automatically change the channel these days to protect my brain and stomach from ill-effects.
    It was exhilarating to see your detailed responses to each of the Media Watch’s crude politically biased questions.
    Please keep up the hard work investigating Natural Science in Australia to overcome the Green Wash which passes for science in many areas these days.

  42. Bob Fernley-Jones (Bob_FJ) March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Jen,
    Dammit, I was so looking forward to whatever Holmes might smarm-out tonight, although you never know, he might sneak some innuendo in.

    Tomorrow, subject to the above, I intend to Email the producer of “The Science Show”, and suggest that they have a golden opportunity to launch a programme with sound scientific and historical evidence that prior to the installation of the barrages and whatnot, the lower lakes were estuarine. In addition to the exquisite evidence you have provided, I’ll point out that the so-called confederation drought was more severe in the context of the lower lakes than recently, such as is seen in 1914/1915 photos of buggies congregated on the dry river bed, (Kerang?), and camels crossing shallow pools at Mildura. Then there are BoM rainfall records and a claim the Murray did not flow for about six months.

    Of course, one can understand that within living memory of various droughts back then, and the nice (naïve) idea of converting those lakes to valuable freshwater, that it seemed a good idea, and simplistically may still seem so to some. Bugger the history etc!

    Oh, I will of course copy it to Mark Scott and a bunch of others

  43. Kevin March 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Hey, is the Murray Darling the same thing as the Murray Green Basin? My only reference to what you are talking about is ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ :(.

    Regardless, you stuck up for yourself well, and taught me a new word on the side – concomitant. Kudos, Ms. Marohasy.

  44. JIll March 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    WEll done Jen!!

  45. Peter Laux March 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Ouch, the poor jurno, 10 rounds, knocked down in each one with no ref to stop the slaughter !
    The apparatchik would have then returned still concussed as the scapegoat and reassigned to some rural gulag.

  46. Don Aitkin March 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Jen,

    Yours is a cool and comprehensive rely to what look to me like questions from a distinct point of view. I will be most interested to learn what happens now.

    With best wishes,

    Don

  47. Peter R. Smith OAM March 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    Hi to all Ms. Marohasy’s fans.
    Ms. Marohasy is entitled to her opinion!
    A storm in a tea cup as it is of no consequence as to where Ms Marohasy’s funding is sourced, the real issue is her opinion and how it is arrived at as she is wrong!

    Hi Luke
    Re your post,
    (1) saves massive amount of gigalitres from evaporation for other uses – yes some savings not ‘massive’ and massive disadvantaged to those who source water from the Lakes Alexandrina and Albert and those with riparian rights,
    (2) protects Adelaide’s water supply from salt incursion up the Murray – does not ‘protects Adelaide’s water supply from salt incursion up the Murray’ but instead ensures ‘Adelaide’s water supply from salt incursion up the Murray,’
    (3) restores estuary to a more natural and sustainable albeit dynamic state – please explain,
    (4) local Lake users could have greater water efficiency if supplied by pipelines – how can you get better efficiency than direct pumping from your shore line pumping infrastructure? As the pipelines are not available for irrigation for stock feed where do these primary producers source there stock food?

  48. Helen Armstrong March 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Obvious to me Jennifer, that if the lakes were always fresh by themselves, why the need to build the barrages?

    Keep up the good fight, we cant afford to loose you.

  49. old44 March 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    How easy would it be to check the log books of Matthew Flinders Investigator and the French Navies La Geographe, i am fairly certain that responsible captains would take the time to investigate sources of fresh water.

  50. michael farr March 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    dear jennifer
    the part of this interchange i find most interesting is the outstanding arrogance of the mediawatch person. The questioning appears to put you on trial and implies that you have something to hide. they will of course NOT publish the thoughtful responses you gave them. I am of the opinion that a royal commission should be opened to investigate the sytematic corruption of the scientific method when applied to climate science.
    regards
    Michael

  51. Johnathan Wilkes March 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    peter
    Hi to all Ms. Marohasy’s fans.
    Here we go again.
    Offering no substance but insults and spruiking vested interest.
    So far you wasted thousands of words and countless billions of electrons to say nothing.
    Go to your committees Peter, they at least hear you out

  52. John Sayers March 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Oh Peter go away with your Jennifer is wrong stuff.

    As I asked the people of media watch – “so when has it become unfashionable to request an environment be returned to it’s natural state?”

  53. jennifer March 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Old44

    I have looked at Matthew Flinders’ maps and diaries.

    In April 1802 Matthew Flinders, while circumnavigating Australia, described the shoreline as low and sandy topped with hummocks of almost bare sand. There was no river mouth on his map.

    Historians have written that this acclaimed navigator and cartographer “missed” the Murray’s mouth. It is much more likely that the narrow and shallow inlet between the lake and the sea had closed-over.

    A single narrow and shallow inlet between sand dunes is a characteristic of many southern Australian estuaries with their central basins known as Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons (ICOLLs).

  54. Debbie March 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Peter,
    they source the water from pipes from an area that is protected from the influence of the ocean.
    That’s what every other community that has settled near the coast does.
    Adelaide’s water supply can easily be protected if the correct infrastructure (ie something like lock zero) was built.
    Jennifer has used completely acceptable historical, geological and scientific evidence.
    There is nothing wrong with any of her source material.
    You have not supplied any evidence, either historical, anecdotal or scientific that disputes her references.
    What is it about her work that is WRONG?
    It appears you are simply arguing to maintain something that has proved to be unsustainable and allowing it to be an ‘environmental’ issue.

  55. Bob Fernley-Jones (Bob_FJ) March 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Peter R. Smith OAM @ March12th, 5:12 pm
    I couldn’t resist visiting your website, and may I complement you on your mug-shot displaying a truly magnificent beard. I checked out your catalogue of photos proclaiming disastrous collapse of the Murray riverbanks and stuff, attributable you suggest to some human misdemeanor, but wonder if there is anything you can say about earlier times, and whether there is anything unusual going on in the recent flood times.

    I live in NE Melbourne, and severally after the breaking of the drought, over two years, we have had footbridges repeatedly destroyed or severely damaged by astonishing floods on the local Plenty River gorge, and huge even dangerous sheer washouts right up to the edge of the concrete bike/pedestrian pathways along the river banks.

    Your point is?

  56. Ron Brunton March 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Jennifer

    I don’t know whether you have used any Aboriginal evidence in your writings on this issue, but given Media Watch’s general PC orientation they may be worth including. For instance, in their study of the Aboriginal people of the Lower Murray/Lakes region, A World That Was, page 221, the distinguished anthropologists Ronald and Catherine Berndt wrote of Aboriginal observations of salt water going up the Murray River almost to Mypolonga. They referred to a song about a man watching the river dragging along trees as the salt water went upstream, and later (pages 594-5) gave its words in both the local language and English. It is also of interest that during the dispute about the ‘secret women’s business’ on Hindmarsh Island, which of course ABC journalists uncritically accepted, some of the supporters were arguing for the removal of the barrages on cultural heritage grounds.

  57. Robert March 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Firstly Peter, that Ms. Marohasy is entitled to her opinion is something that does not need pointing out. Or does it?

    Secondly, nobody is denying, as far as I know, the advantages of the status quo and the high cost and compensations involved in changing that status quo.

    It’s a matter of degree. Removing the barrages is bad, keeping them is worse. I’m not certain of this, which is why I’ve been following the argument here in silence. However, on balance, I think Jen is right.

    Not for a moment do I think it will be cheap or pain free. But we waste billions on a mockery of conservation called “environmentalism”. We line the pockets of bloated, shameless frauds like Al Gore and Tim Flannery.

    We can surely spend large amounts on compensating generously those who are affected adversely by the proposed changes to the Lower Lakes.

  58. John Bromhead March 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Jennifer, Good luck. Holmes doesn’t strike me as someone who gives up easily and he could try to slide around your objections sometime in the future. But only after their ABC’s lawyers approve the script to make sure it is something the program can get away with. He’s the king of insinuation.

  59. ianl8888 March 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    A very interesting story, Jennifer. Thanks for publishing it and the linked references

    I am fascinated by the inconsistency of Drs Fluin et al with regard to the diatom occurrences, together with their selective culling of foram evidence. Specific diatom species cannot be both fresh-water only dwellers but live happily in >30% salt water simultaneously. Evolutionary adaptation just doesn’t work those miracles

    Other posters may be annoyed by the snideness of the ABC but that’s too well established to be any surprise. I’m astonished at the deliberate intellectual flabbiness of Fluin et al. It’s very encouraging that you outed this – and it is the very reason that the ABC will now let well enough alone

  60. Another Ian March 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    Jen,

    I’ve just done a look at

    Peter R. Smith OAM

    on Google and AV and he doesn’t seem to show.

    Maybe he can elaborate?

  61. koalabear March 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    A great story of Defamation and Diatoms

    And special thanks to all the diatoms that lived so long ago in Lake Alexandrina who have also struggled recently to tell of their frolics in their briney home.
    Especially thanks to

    Achnanthes delicatula, Grammatophora oceanica, Cocconeis heteroidia, Cocconeis pseudomarginata,
    Cyclotella striata, Thalossirosira eccentrica, Cocconeis scutellum, Navicula fenestrella, Melosira sulcata, Fragilaria pinnata and friends who do like their salt but have felt rather neglected by the South Australia government in recent times.

  62. Jennifer Marohasy March 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    Hi Ron

    Good to hear from you.

    I’ve spent a limited amount of time in the SA State Library looking at old books. George Talpin’s diaries include lists of Ngarrindjeri names for local fauna and flora and associated taboos. From this information it would appear that both Mulloway (a marine fish species) and Murray Cod (a fresh water fish species) were present in Lake Alexandrina. It is possible to have both fresh and salt water species in well stratified estuaries… in Lake Alexandrina, before the barrages, I understand that the salt water would start to move across the lake by late summer.

    I’ve not heard of ‘A World That Was’ or the story you relate. Do you have the book? I will be down your way the week after next… perhaps we could catchup?

  63. Tom Flannery March 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    To be sure, some of those little diatom beasties found in lake sediments thousands of years ago
    can live happily in levels of salty water way in excess of that in sea water.

    Nitzschia pusilla was one of these in LA sediments that is a dominant species in Lake Eyre and has been found at salinities several times that of sea water.

    Fragilaria pinnata was the dominant species in Lake Alexandrina for the past several thousand years. Its found in Chesapeake Bay and tidal estuaries in the USA, hypersaline coastal lagoons in Brazil, the Pearl River estuary in China and best of all in the salty Coorong in South Austrlaia.

    But please, please, please don’t anyone tell the South Australian water minister about this. He would be soooooo upset if he found out that his reports on diatoms were just a tiny bit “incomplete”

    All the best,

    Tom
    (references to the specific scientific literature supplied if anyone wants them)

  64. Luke March 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Peter well according to Motty at http://ianmott.blogspot.com.au/
    ” Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert are the portions of the original tidal estuary that have been converted to fresh water lakes by the Barrages. They have a surface area of approximately 65,000ha, an average depth of 3m, a volume of 1.95 million ML, and are maintained at about 0.5m above AHD when fresh water is available. Gross evaporation is in the order of 832,000 ML/year which is off-set by mean annual rainfall of 325,000 ML, for a net loss of 507,000 ML/year”

    doesn’t sound like a small quantity to me

    And Peter – how did the estuary manage to survive for all those millenia before Europeans turned up

  65. Charles Bourbaki March 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Fair go everyone. Peter R Smith OAM is – one of Al Gore’s and the Australian Conservation Foundation’s “Climate Change Presenters”.

    Not someone to be trifled with.

  66. Peter R. Smith OAM March 13, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    Hi Johnathan W,
    Yes here we go again I have no vested interest accept my passion for the Murray Darling Basin and the River Murray.
    Say nothing can’t you read REMOVING the Barrages without some form of regulator constructed to stop seawater contaminating the Lower River Murray from Lake Alexandrina to Lock 1 will destroy SA’s potable water supply!
    Johnathan sorry but if you don’t understand the above get out of your easy chair visit the Lower River Murray talk to the locals and get the full story!

    Hi John S,
    Re, “Oh Peter go away with your Jennifer is wrong stuff” are you are sure she is right and if so why.
    Re, “so when has it become unfashionable to request an environment be returned to its natural state?” when the Murray River from source to the Southern Ocean the Snowy Mountain Scheme, Dams Weirs, Locks and the Barrages.

    Hi Debbie,
    Firstly I hope your property along the Murrumbidgee has escaped much damage in the floods.
    Debbie, yes SA’s water CAN BE protected so maybe if Ms. Marohasy wants credibility she should put the investigation into Lock Zero before seeking to remove or open the Barrages one can never happen without the other (Lock Zero) being constructed!
    Re, “There is nothing wrong with any of her source material” accept she has not or does not fully understand the tidal movement, that’s what’s WRONG!
    My argument is for the proper investigation before any more mindless mistakes.

    Hi Bob FJ,
    Re, “disastrous collapse of the Murray riverbanks and stuff, attributable you suggest to some human misdemeanor” during the drought the weir pools upstream of Lock 1 in SA could have been lowered to assist the hydrology.
    Of course there is nothing unusual about floods accept the proper management some of which is to be done when huge rain events are predicted – ie, storage releases in preparation did we learn nothing for the disaster in Queensland when a mitigation dam was allowed to get too high?
    I would welcome you to visit our area for a firsthand look at bank collapses of 1000’s of tonnes and cracks big enough to swallow semi’s.

    Hi Ron Brunton,
    Seawater was recorded upstream some 20-miles of Mannum!

    Hi Robert,
    Yes Ms. Marohasy is like all of us, entitled to her opinion, and re compensations that is not even on the table!
    As I have previously stated any major change in the Barrages and there operations necessitate the construction of another regulator.
    Re, “However, on balance, I think Jen is right” knowing my area and the tides I believe she is wrong.
    I am not about “environmentalism” I about saving the Lower River Murray!
    Re, “We line the pockets of bloated, shameless frauds like Al Gore and Tim Flannery” that is another debate for another time.
    I can assure this is not about compensation.

    Hi Another Ian,
    Re, “I’ve just done a look at Peter R. Smith OAM on Google and AV and he doesn’t seem to show.
    Maybe he can elaborate?” what was it you wanted to know, just ask?

    Hi Jennifer,
    There are a number of freshwater species caught regularly in Lake Alexandrina and because of the EC level in Lake Albert the species are not so varied. Seawater will kill Murray Cod and other freshwater species though some can survive in low EC level water.

    Hi Luke,
    I have read Ian’s information also his information re the tides and the level maintained is +0.75-AHD.
    The total evaporation loss is about 85 to 900-Gigalitres.
    Re, “And Peter – how did the estuary manage to survive for all those millennia before Europeans turned up” that’s easy no Snowy Mountain Scheme, Dartmouth Dam, Hume Weir, Locks, Barrages and no regulators in the Menindee Lakes or regulators in the River Darling and of course no irrigation.

    Hi Charles Bourbaki,
    I didn’t realise I was not allowed to make presentations and if we are all wrong what we are doing will be a waste of time or will hopefully have some advantages in the home planet on which we live. Also I am entitled to an opinion.

  67. Peter R. Smith OAM March 13, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    For those interested in Ian Mott’s tidal information: –
    I think the impact of tidal intrusion has been overstated because the local tidal regime makes serious intrusions the exception rather than the rule. Given that half of each monthly lunar cycle involves very minimal tidal variation, and 16 hours of each remaining daily cycle also involves either minimal variation or outflow, then high tides can only occur for 1/6th of the year (ie 1/3rd of 50%).
    The historical references to continuous fresh water then become a function of pure probability. The lake, due to its shallow nature, was no place for small boats during storm events as the chop would be very dangerous. And when these events coincided with high tides they were also effectively “off the radar”. And that means that any local anecdotal observations of the composition of lake water took place during the more than 5/6th (84%) of the time when no tidal intrusion was present. If peak tidal flows were also likely to produce dangerous flow rates near the populated centres then the interval in which saline intrusions would not be detected would increase to well over 90% of the time.
    The strongest conclusion is that historical references to fresh water conditions in the lake are likely to be roughly representative of actual conditions but the sequence of anecdotal observations was unlikely to have picked up the character and scale of anomalous conditions. These anomalous sea water intrusions were unlikely to have lasted longer than 8 hours at a time. And given the distances involved in each transit, could not have extended far enough, under all but 9th decile circumstances (drought and storm surges), to impact on northern lakeshore ecosystems or agriculture.
    And that means that the fears of total barrage removal are overstated but the impacts on river mouth closure of a larger tidal prism are such that the barrages need to remain in place until a better solution is shown to be working.

  68. adrian March 13, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    I would have ignored MW, then sued them to the back teeth. The old rope-a-dope trick. The resulting publicity would have been priceless.

    Sterling effort, JM.

  69. Jeff Short March 13, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    Well done. It’s refreshing to see solid practical scientific responses to what are generally bias and ill informed questions.

  70. George B March 13, 2012 at 4:11 am #

    Oh, this looks like another example of the political left’s attempt to shut up any positions they don’t agree with. When all of their arguments fail, the last ditch effort is “shutuppery” though things such as name calling, intimidation, etc.

    Don’t let them do it and do as you have done, give their efforts as much sunlight as possible. Also keep one thing in mind: what I have learned over the years is that whatever the left accuses their opposition of doing is generally what they themselves are doing. The reason they accuse their opponents of it is because they put themselves in the position of their opponents and come to the conclusion that it is what they would do in that situation and then project that behavior onto others.

  71. Schiller Thurkettle March 13, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    Jennifer,

    Sure is nice to see some proactive measures against ratbag quasi-journalists. Excellent pre-emptive strike! I hope many will follow your example.

  72. Debbie March 13, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    Peter,
    Luke is correct.
    You have missed the ‘point’ of the Mott submission.
    He is referring mostly to incursions during storms and abnormally high tides.
    The barrages do help to mitigate that problem, but you want them kept for a different reason.
    He does not deny that during periods of low inflows those Lakes and the LRM were subject to sea water incursions.
    He is also not advocating that upstream storages can fix the developing problems in SA and therefore maintain what has proved unsustainable.
    Just because he doesn’t entirely agree with Jennifer, does not mean he is an advocate of your ‘deny the existence of the influence of sea water’ and ‘seawater is a horrible disadvantage’ and ‘SA is being treated unfairly’ position.

  73. Pikey March 13, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Hi Schiller and All.
    This is but a small skirmish win in a much bigger battle.
    Jennifer and all who assisted her are to be congratulated, but the real battle to defend truth and our democracy is ongoing.
    Their ABC have become very skillful at painting false but believeable pictures that both support and defend AGW and radical environmentalists who constantly try to portray mans progress and management of our environment as being destructive.
    I strongly suspect that Holmes and Co will still attack Jennifer in the future, with little regard to the arguments she is presenting.
    Destroy the messenger rather than have the knowledge or backbone to be involved in factual, rational debate.
    Balance , truth and integrety are words no longer in the ABC code of practice.
    Pikey.

  74. Dave March 13, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Well said Jennifer.

    I don’t suppose it makes much sense to tilt at windmills, but the ABC really needs to be non-political and objective. Something is really rotten there and needs to be cleaned out.

  75. Peter R. Smith OAM March 13, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Hi Debbie,
    Wrong, my reason for upgrading and retention of the Barrages is for the value of the Barrages from both directions!
    I don’t deny incursions of seawater happened BUT prior to the infrastructure from the source of the River Murray to the sea.
    Re, “He is also not advocating that upstream storages can fix the developing problems in SA and therefore maintain what has proved unsustainable” no in my conversation with Ian we discussed turkey dams in various sites along the River in SA and close to Lake Albert.
    Re, “Just because he doesn’t entirely agree with Jennifer, does not mean he is an advocate of your ‘deny the existence of the influence of sea water’ and ‘seawater is a horrible disadvantage’ and ‘SA is being treated unfairly’ position” BUT he does explain the tidal movement which Ms. Marohasy denies and also the damage that could occur in the LRM by introducing seawater.

  76. Robert March 13, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    Peter, when I told you it was scarcely necessary for you to tell us Jen was entitled to an opinion, you came back with ‘Yes Ms. Marohasy is like all of us, entitled to her opinion”. This seems to be mere bombastic noise-making.

    You seem open to removal of the barrages under certain conditions. Since nobody is arguing against other works being performed and improvements being implemented elsewhere, you once again give the impression of making noise for its own sake when you contradict. Likewise, when the obvious issue of compensation is merely raised, then it is somehow not relevant or “on the table”. Commonsense would suggest that proposals for radical changes to the Lower Lakes will have to entail compensation. Indeed, having a wider plan and compensation packages must be very relevant. Who would enter the debate without these issues in mind?

    You keep insisting that you know what “it” is “about”. Yet everything that touches on actual reform or change is merely drowned out with noise. I hope “it” is not just “about” crafty stonewalling of debate.

  77. Bob_FJ March 13, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Peter R. Smith OAM
    It is clear from the evidence in this link that the Murray has stopped flowing prior to the 1930’s barrages but it is unlikely to be the case again. (despite increased irrigation)

    http://bobfjones.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/murray-darling-basin-and-the-lower-lakes/

    Please study the link carefully. So, how did those estuarine lakes survive?
    I could see some advantage in managing the salinity in the river proper, but that is a separate issue. Also, I believe that freshwater fish are capable of swimming upstream if necessary.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Oh BTW Peter R. Smith OAM, it might be more courteous if you addressed the author of this article as Dr. Marohasy or Jennifer, rather than Ms. Marohasy.

  78. nicholas tesdorf March 13, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    I derived a lot of pleasure in sending a blistering email to Media watch castigating their affrontery, and idiocy in attacking genuine science while ignoring the lunatic exagerations of the Tim Flannery’s of the CAGW movement. Balance, integrity and truth have vanished from the ABC’s code of practice, I would say.

  79. jennifer March 13, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Thanks everyone so much for your support.

  80. Debbie March 13, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/basin-boss-says-state-split-on-river/story-e6frea83-1226297572754

    Notice there is no mention of that great big elephant in the room? (you know…the B word)

    And Peter,
    The place that would be most seriously affected if we were ever stupid enough to remove ALL infrastructure work on the Murray river is SA!
    As the link from Bob clearly demonstrates, SA has undoubtedly benefited from upstream storages and irrigation networks.
    Without them, SA would not have had any fresh water from the Murray system in the last drought.
    SA in fact had 3 YEARS of critical supplies in upstream storage during the depth of the drought.
    That argument about removing ALL infrastructure if you have to do something about those barrages, is a spectacularly myopic argument from your perspective.
    And Peter,
    My property has never ever ever been affected by the Murrumbidgee River.
    But thanks for your concern and I will pass it on to those who did get flooded by the River system.
    I live in a prupose built irrigation area that does not get flooded by the Murrumbidgee River.
    Our flooding here was caused by torrential rains in the surrounding hills and ranges and our natural, ephemeral waterways here, if the rains are heavy enough, eventually make their way to the lower lachlan catchment on their ultimate journey to the LRM.

  81. Peter R. Smith OAM March 13, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Hi Robert,
    I WILL never support the removal of the Barrages, upgrading yes removal NO!
    I am not stonewalling the debate but any debate re the Barrages must include investigation into a regulator to protect SA’s potable water supply! Also I am not into playing the blame game but all increases in diversions MUST BE managed with more insight and careful decision making.

    Hi Bob_FJ,
    No argument from me about the River ceasing to flow, one of the reasons for the Barrages was to stop the invasion of seawater, a trade-off for Lake Mulwala and to safeguard the water for irrigators and potable use.
    The Lakes Alexandrine and Albert survived as there were sufficient inflows across the Basin to maintain them.

  82. Debbie March 13, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    No Peter,
    The LRM received pulses of stored water from upsteam storages.
    There were insufficient inflows to maintain the lakes…have you completely forgotten how badly those lakes were abused?
    Remember those damaging exposed Acid Sulphate soils?
    Have you forgotten what was sacrificed to make sure SA received critical supplies?
    The Lakes survived and replenished because the drought finally broke.
    Please don’t fall in to the trap of re inventing history or distorting facts to advance a political position as the current political agenda has done.
    You at least have the decency and courage to mention the barrages and recognise that something major needs to be done.
    Your last comment is most worrying.

  83. Bob Fernley-Jones (Bob_FJ) March 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Peter R. Smith OAM @ March 13th, 10:54 am:
    Quoting your carefully selected comments; (AKA cherry-picking):

    [1] I WILL never support the removal of the Barrages, upgrading yes removal NO!

    [2] No argument from me about the River ceasing to flow, one of the reasons for the Barrages was to stop the invasion of seawater, a trade-off for Lake Mulwala and to safeguard the water for irrigators and potable use.

    [3] The Lakes Alexandrine and Albert survived [prior to the barrages] as there were sufficient inflows across the Basin to maintain them.

    If I can combine quotes [1] & [2], I have a few initial questions of you Peter:
    • When you refer to the invasion of seawater, do you not agree that this WAS part of the natural cycle in the estuary but that with the introduction of the barrages the natural ecosystem that must have existed for thousands of years was changed anthropomorphically in a big way?
    • When you say; one of the reasons, could you please elaborate on the implied other reasons?
    • What has been the growth of human population around the formerly estuarine lakes, following introduction of the barrages, and to what degree do those humans depend on that anthropomorphic fresh water from the lakes for irrigation and drinking? (Please exclude consideration of the ability to angle for Murray Cod or other freshwater fish species that may have invaded a past saline/brackish environment)
    • There is absolutely no question that the up-river water storages in the areas where significant rainfall can be effectively gathered, has greatly enhanced fresh-water flow downstream, particularly in times of drought. Do you think that this is less cost and environmentally effective than wrecking the millennial estuarine ecosystem?

    Now if I can combine quotes [2] & [3], a couple more initial questions:

    • Are you aware of any time since the barrages and progressive infrastructure developments, when the Murray actually stopped flowing?
    • When you say Lakes Alexandrine and Albert survived [prior to the barrages] as there were sufficient inflows across the Basin to maintain them.. I’m puzzled because the Murray apparently stopped flowing for about six months during the Confederation Drought. Could you please clarify why the greatly increased annually more evenly distributed flows from the more recent upper dams do not contribute to your desires on the lower lakes?

  84. Robert March 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    “I WILL never support the removal of the Barrages, upgrading yes removal NO!”

    Okay, that’s now clear. More than one previous comment by you gave the impression that you may be open on the subject:

    “Say nothing can’t you read REMOVING the Barrages without some form of regulator constructed to stop seawater contaminating the Lower River Murray from Lake Alexandrina to Lock 1 will destroy SA’s potable water supply!”

    “As I have previously stated any major change in the Barrages and there operations necessitate the construction of another regulator.”

    “any debate re the Barrages must include investigation into a regulator to protect SA’s potable water supply!”

    So your complete opposition to removal of the barrages, no matter what the circumstances, is now clear and stated.

  85. Bob Fernley-Jones (Bob_FJ0 March 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Peter R. Smith OAM,
    As something more anecdotal but I imagine right up your alley, let me swear that this account of my experience is absolutely true!!!!!
    A few years ago I was walking off-trail in Kinglake National Park nearby where I live in NE Melbourne, when I spotted a playful kid-goat and its mother close-by. They scampered-off of course. So, knowing that they should not be there, I subsequently went to the Ranger’s office and reported it and they groaned and asked where did I see them; we’ll have to get the guns out?….. (and it’s a worry that they are breeding!)
    Oh, I explained; over near the reservoir. (Originally put there to supply the township of Hurstbridge, but discontinued I know not why, and forgotten to most people, and only accessible through the bush). Then followed this soulful discussion when the rangers expressed their desire to remove the anthropomorphic reservoir despoilment of the park. It did not matter that it was beautiful and enhanced support of the local wildlife.
    Groan/sigh

  86. Ted Bolton March 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    Your demolition of the “Media Watch” witch-hunt was an education as well as being a delight to read.

    In terms of environmental corruption, I’m waiting for the day MW does a hatchet job on the Gillard Government paying the ABC $15,000 to include Global Warming propaganda in their children’s programmes – as though they needed any encouragement.

  87. Nano Pope March 14, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    I’m pretty sure this is how your responses will be handled (MW will of course quote their questions in full, and abbreviate only the replies):

    MW: Do you accept that the vast majority of recognised experts…
    JM: No…
    MW: It is a central part of your argument…
    JM: Yes…
    …(skip inconvenient answer)…
    MW: In June last year … Was he a financial supporter?
    JM: Yes…
    MW: Is he, to your knowledge, a financial supporter of the AEF?…
    JM: …I would hope there were some irrigators who were financial supporters…
    MW: Have you personally received financial support,,,
    JM: …Mr Kahlbetzer provided financial support for me…
    …(skip another inconvenient answer)…
    MW: Have you received support from … the IPA or the Heartland Institute?
    JM: …I worked for the IPA as a salaried employee on contract from 2003 until 2009. During this time I attended a conference on climate change organized by the Heartland Institute…
    MW: In your recent opinion columns… Do you think you have any obligation to do so?
    JM: No…
    MW: As a founding member and past chair of the AEF…
    JM: …certainly not a complete description of my interest in this issue…

    The chances of them being factual, honest and fair are zero. Media Watch is a disgrace.

  88. Robert March 14, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    “Hi Robert,
    Yes my complete opposition is stated but with Lock Zero a total upgrade of the Barrages the Lakes Alexandrina and Albert can be saved with management from Lock Zero!”

    Peter, I’ve read this comment several times and don’t quite follow it. I’ve tried inserting my own punctuation and conjunctions, but without much success. If you get a moment, could you re-work the comment? I’d like to be completely clear on your position.

  89. Peter R. Smith OAM March 14, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you.
    Hi Robert,
    I have answered it in my last post.

  90. Bob_FJ March 14, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Robert,
    I also find Peter R. Smith OAM’s explanation for upgrading the barrages and managing lock zero, to be as clear as mud.

  91. Peter R. Smith OAM March 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Hi Robert & Bob-FJ,
    It is obvious neither of you and many, probably 100,000’s DO NOT understand the Lower River Murray so I invite you both to visit this area so as to meet with those who are in many cases 4th & 5th generation primary producers, fishermen and others who I am sure will be only to pleased to explain the area and especially the tides.
    The following need to be carried out as soon as possible: –
    1. The Barrages require a complete upgrade so as they do not leak and can be operated remotely enabling rapid opening and closing in conjunction with suitable tides (of which there are relatively few) to enable flushing and the removal of sand from the River’s mouth.
    2. The Narrung Narrows must be cleared of the causeways and the Narrung Bund and the depth returned to approximately 30 to 40-feet (this depth used to be 80-deet) so as to allow the interchange of water to lower the salinity in Lake Albert.
    3. The construction of Lock Zero to ensure a pool level of not below +0.55-AHD from Lock Zero to Lock 1 (that level will ensure all of takes for SA’s potable water supply are not threatened, all irrigation between Blanchetown and Lock Zero are protected, all Ferries can operate safely all boats ramps are fully and safely functional and all other River services/operations are protected.
    Lock Zero can be used to hold water and pulse water into Lake Alexandrina to maintain the freshness of Lakes Alexandrina and Albert at +0.50-AHD.
    For further information please contact me.

  92. Robert March 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Bob, I’m wondering if the poorly punctuated and garbled text isn’t a ploy. It’s hard to contradict someone if you can’t get a handle on exactly what they are saying.

    There seem to be people who intend to make as much fuss and noise as they can until Jennifer goes away.

    I don’t think she’ll go away.

  93. Robert March 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    Peter, when I wrote my last comment, your explanation had not appeared. Now I’ve read it, and it’s at last clear what you mean and what you want.

    I also want to read the opinions of those who want something different. Because the MD is a big, long river complex, I don’t want the opinions of one section of that river complex to the exclusion of other opinions. But I assure you that, if you express yourself clearly and without bombast, I’ll take seriously everything you write. I think others will do the same.

  94. Bob Fernley-Jones (Bob_FJ) March 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Peter R. Smith OAM @ March 14th, 1:31 pm
    Thank you Peter for that response. Whilst I try to digest it and wonder why you can justify destroying the natural estuarine ecosystem that existed prior to the installation of the barrages, I await with bated breath for your responses to some other questions raised by me earlier above:

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/?p=8973&cp=2#comment-500111

    BTW, when you received your OAM award, I’m curious as to what were your meriting citations. Let’s compare Tim Flannery for his 2007 “Australian of the year” award. I seem to recall that it was in recognition for his great ability as a science communicator including his assertions of unending drought etc. What qualifies you for your award? Not communication skills surely?

  95. Peter R. Smith OAM March 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Bob Fernley-Jones,
    The answers where submitted but for some reason were not included on the site as to why your guess is as good as mine.
    I resent being put in the same class as Tim Flannery but if you wish to find out go the Honours and Awards Web site or my web site.
    And what qualifies me is above your ridicule.

  96. Bob Fernley-Jones (Bob_FJ) March 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Peter R. Smith OAM @ March 14th, 5:04 pm
    You claim concerning my multiple questions of you:

    The answers where submitted but for some reason were not included on the site as to why your guess is as good as mine.

    I would think that maybe you made a posting mistake of some kind. I hope that you drafted it in your word processor and still have a copy. Whenever I visit sites that are well known to delete comments that they don’t like, I take a screen copy of it whilst it awaits moderation. It’s not hard to do. If you feel that you are being victimized by Jennifer, please follow this advice and resubmit it. (whilst keeping a screen copy)

    I resent being put in the same class as Tim Flannery but if you wish to find out go the Honours and Awards Web site or my web site. And what qualifies me is above your ridicule.

    Please answer the question properly!

  97. Peter R. Smith OAM March 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Bob Fernley-Jones,
    I resent being told what to do by persons with no respect!!
    Your answers for the second time: –
    Hi Bob,
    Q1 – Answer, yes of course it was part of, “the natural ecosystem” but the “natural ecosystem” cannot be re-introduced!
    Q2 – Answer, the reasons are as already stated, “one of the reasons for the Barrages was to stop the invasion of seawater, a trade-off for Lake Mulwala and to safeguard the water for irrigators and potable use” and also instead of one of the 26 Locks originally planned.
    Q3 – Answer, the population growth has been huge and NONE of them rely either on Lake Alexandrina or Lake Albert for human consumption water. Those around Lake Albert do no irrigate and there is not a great deal of irrigation from though there are quite a few with riparian rights.
    Q4 – Answer, yes the upstream storages have “greatly enhanced fresh-water flow downstream” but as to allowing the ‘wrecking the millennial estuarine ecosystem’ it was wrecked by ALL of the infrastructure construct (for the best) and I DO NOT agree with the solution being put forward.
    Q5 – Answer, yes during the last drought!
    Q6 – Answer, yes the River stopped flowing in (I believe) 1915 and seawater was recorded upstream of Younghusband. When water is not available to maintain the Lakes Alexandrina and Albert we must accept the fact and as long as critical human needs supply is provided maintain the Lakes especially Lake Alexandrina the best way possible. If we built Lock Zero we could – I believe – simplify the solution.
    Hi Robert,
    Yes my complete opposition is stated but with Lock Zero a total upgrade of the Barrages the Lakes Alexandrina and Albert can be saved with management from Lock Zero!

  98. White Linen March 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Timothy McDonald on “The World Today” interviewed WWF’s Nick Heath on 24th January 2012. In a highly speculative and unsubstantiated interview which through a mixture of suggestion and innuendo that had absolutely no science behind it, managed to blame farmers and their nutrient fertilisers for herpes in turtles on the Great Barrier Reef. He also claimed that up to 90% of reef pollution was caused by agriculture which was up from the (equally unbelievable) 60% he claimed just weeks before.
    If Media Watch wants to accuse people of perpetrating unsubstantiated science for cash knock on WWF’s door first.

  99. kramer March 15, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Have you received support from other organisations (other than your university and the normal grant-giving academic bodies), such as the IPA or the Heartland Institute?

    Seriously? They asked you if you were funded by Heartland? Unbelievable…

    Who the heck is Media Watch and how long have they been around? Are they some kind of UN/Greenpeace organization? Do the question the warmists in the same way?

  100. Bob Fernley-Jones (Bob_FJ) March 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Peter R. Smith OAM, thank you for your responses to my six questions on page 2, concerning your desire to change the former estuarine lakes to unnatural freshwater; here:
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/?p=8973&cp=2#comment-500249
    In order to give context to your replies, I’ve repeated my questions:

    ~~1~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • When you refer to the invasion of seawater, do you not agree that this WAS part of the natural cycle in the estuary but that with the introduction of the barrages the natural ecosystem that must have existed for thousands of years was changed anthropomorphically in a big way?
    Q1 – Answer, yes of course it was part of, “the natural ecosystem” but the “natural ecosystem” cannot be re-introduced!

    ~~2~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • When you say; one of the reasons, could you please elaborate on the implied other reasons?
    Q2 – Answer, the reasons are as already stated, “one of the reasons for the Barrages was to stop the invasion of seawater, a trade-off for Lake Mulwala and to safeguard the water for irrigators and potable use” and also instead of one of the 26 Locks originally planned.

    ~~3~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • What has been the growth of human population around the formerly estuarine lakes, following introduction of the barrages, and to what degree do those humans depend on that anthropomorphic fresh water from the lakes for irrigation and drinking? (Please exclude consideration of the ability to angle for Murray Cod or other freshwater fish species that may have invaded a past saline/brackish environment)
    Q3 – Answer, the population growth has been huge and NONE of them rely either on Lake Alexandrina or Lake Albert for human consumption water. Those around Lake Albert do no irrigate and there is not a great deal of irrigation from though there are quite a few with riparian rights.

    ~~4~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • There is absolutely no question that the up-river water storages in the areas where significant rainfall can be effectively gathered, has greatly enhanced fresh-water flow downstream, particularly in times of drought. Do you think that this is less cost and environmentally effective than wrecking the millennial estuarine ecosystem?
    Q4 – Answer, yes the upstream storages have “greatly enhanced fresh-water flow downstream” but as to allowing the ‘wrecking the millennial estuarine ecosystem’ it was wrecked by ALL of the infrastructure construct (for the best) and I DO NOT agree with the solution being put forward.

    ~~5~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • Are you aware of any time since the barrages and progressive infrastructure developments, when the Murray actually stopped flowing?
    Q5 – Answer, yes during the last drought!

    ~~6~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • When you say Lakes Alexandrine and Albert survived [prior to the barrages] as there were sufficient inflows across the Basin to maintain them.. I’m puzzled because the Murray apparently stopped flowing for about six months during the Confederation Drought. Could you please clarify why the greatly increased annually more evenly distributed flows from the more recent upper dams do not contribute to your desires on the lower lakes?
    Q6 – Answer, yes the River stopped flowing in (I believe) 1915 and seawater was recorded upstream of Younghusband. When water is not available to maintain the Lakes Alexandrina and Albert we must accept the fact and as long as critical human needs supply is provided maintain the Lakes especially Lake Alexandrina the best way possible. If we built Lock Zero we could – I believe – simplify the solution.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I may have to read it a few more times yet before I feel I have understanding and can find the energy to respond

  101. PETER STYLES March 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Great victory Congratulation

  102. Bob_FJ March 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    These questions to Media Watch that are posed by Marc Hendrickx of ABCNews Watch are very interesting:
    http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/murray-gate-some-questions-for-media.html
    I love his coining of the moniker “Murraygate”! How exquisitely appropriate!

  103. Ingvar Engelbrecht March 16, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    Stand up and fight them!
    Lots of people that can think for themselves are behind you. Yes, even from Sweden (me)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Media Watch Under Scrutiny | contrary2belief - March 12, 2012

    […] Reblogged from Jennifer Marohasy MEDIA Watch contacted me on Friday with a barrage of questions concerning my work on the need to restore the Murray River’s estuary. Their line of questioning suggested that I was misleading the Australian public on the important issue of water reform in the Murray Darling. Indeed, the implication was that I am but a stooge for vested interests. […]

  2. Jennifer Marohasy » The Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Two Questions for Your Federal Parliamentarian - March 13, 2012

    […] [2] Media Watch Under Scrutiny http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/03/media-watch-under-scrutiny-2/ […]

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