“There is much to be said for a policy of abolishing all drought relief assistance. Drought is a normal, natural, cyclic factor of our environment and if you can not understand and cope with that, maybe you should not be farming” concludes Warwick Hughes in his latest drought assessment(30 kbs).
And some of the farmers I met over the last couple of days would agree with Warwick.
Yesterday I was driven from Brewarrina (100 kms east of Bourke) all the way north to the Queensland border, and beyond, to check out Cubbie Station and the water infrastructure associated with this now large cotton farm.
Many farmers in this Border River’s region are more concerned about the possibility of their Coolibahs no-longer being flooded because of the Cubbie water diversions than ‘the drought’.
Pop Petersen of Brenda Station, which straddles the NSW-Queensland border on the Culgoa River, has data on river heights back to 1890. Her records suggest 110 floods over the last 100 years. The last flood was in March 1999. Pop claims that there should have been a flood just last year with a river height of 5.76 metres, but that it didn’t happen because of the new upstream diversions.
I plan to test Pop’s hypothesis by plotting the historical data on river heights for Brenda Station against the historical rainfall records for that catchment.
I have some pictures (30-70 kbs in size) from the trip:
The Culgoa at Brenda Station: View image
Some signage at Weilmoringel (3 floodway signs perhaps equals wishful thinking): View image
I saw more emus than sheep: View image
Part of a Cubbie Station bund wall that we followed for 31kms: View image
Intake channel for Cubbie from the Culgoa: View image