Rob Gourlay from Environmental Consultants ERIC, is calling for an independent investigation by the Australian Government to get to the bottom of the claims in today’s Channel Nine Sunday Program:
“The Channel Nine Sunday Program on Salt Solutions (28 May 2006) was a wake-up call to public workers involved in dryland salinity science and administration in Australia.
There is evidence that points to possible scientific fraud and deceit in salinity science and management that is controlled and manipulated by Australian and State government agencies.
Public workers have used a rising groundwater model based on claims that land clearing causes the groundwater to rise and bring salts to the surface. Computer predictions by government agencies during the 1990’s promoted a dramatic spread of salinity across southern Australia.
Public workers have operated as a cartel to control public funds on dryland salinity and exclude private industry R&D, innovations and services from funding schemes. Evidence now suggests that the public science and predictions were hopelessly flawed.
Many government agencies attempted to suppress contrary evidence from private industry and published false information about the capability of industry technology, while promoting their own mapping technologies and engineering solutions to attract public funds.
Environmental Research and Information Consortium Pty Ltd (ERIC) was one of the companies with an award winning technology in salinity mapping affected by the lock out within government agencies. ERIC has answered questions raised by public workers during the investigation by Channel Nine. These papers are at http://www.eric.com.au/html/news.html.
ERIC, along with many other independent scientists and farmers have demonstrated that degradation in soil health is the primary cause of an increase in dryland salinity from natural levels. This includes a significant loss of soil carbon and microbes, soil compaction and loss of soil structure (eg. hardpans); caused by conventional methods of agriculture. This degradation has caused less rainfall/irrigation percolation to the groundwater, soil salts to be released into the soil water and increased lateral flows of salts into drainage lines and low lying areas.
Public workers have been provided with this alternative evidence to the rising groundwater model since the 1950’s.
ERIC produced conclusive evidence in 1994 and provided further evidence to the National Dryland Salinity Program in 1997, including the House of Representative Salinity Inquiry in 2004 and Senate Salinity Inquiry in 2006. However, public workers have continually failed to produce evidence to support a rising groundwater model and actively denigrated ERIC’s evidence without disproving the evidence.
The Australian public needs to know the extent of the cover-up and protection racket by these public workers. An independent investigation is now required by the Australian government to get to the bottom of the claims in the Channel Nine Sunday Program.”
A full transcript of the program is available, click here.