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Australia - "Welcome to Country" :)

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Old Thursday 3rd January 2019, 23:12   #1
Chosun Juan
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Exclamation Australia - "Welcome to Country" :)

G'day Folks! :) For all potential visitors to Australia or those just interested in its origins and 65,000 years of indigenous culture, comes this essential new book by well respected Aboriginal elder, Professor Marcia Langton, titled "Welcome to Country".
https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.n...rticle/9871546
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.smh...06-h12cku.html

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In my words ..... Do people of the world actually realize they are visiting a country stolen from it's first inhabitant custodians/traditional owners? That there is no meaningful Constitutional recognition or representation for them? That there is no Treaty? That even of this date, there is no Truth Telling? That Terra-Nullius is a lie?
https://www.mup.com.au/books/its-our...rback-softback
https://www.creativespirits.info/abo...riginal-people
https://www.abc.net.au/religion/the-...ons-v/10094678
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulur...from_the_Heart

"Professor Langton says over the past four decades she has noticed a growing curiosity among non-Indigenous Australians towards the country's pre-European past and its Aboriginal heritage.

But, she says, that past is full of trauma for many Indigenous people."


For further "Truth Telling" see: Dark Emu -The Terra Nullius lie. 65000+yrs Aboriginal Civilization - Ecological Proof https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=364276

"Rachel Bin Salleh, publisher at Magabala Books in Western Australia, says Professor Langton's book follows on from "classics" like the Little Red Yellow Black Book by Bruce Pascoe, a pocket-sized introduction to Aboriginal history and culture.

But she says Welcome to Country could introduce many more people to Australia's history and culture, because of its broad appeal to the travel market."


"This resource, so beautifully packaged, will encourage the start of two-way learning as well as the consideration of Indigenous enterprise as a first priority."

.... "so much of Welcome to Country is about looking to the present, and celebrating Aboriginal businesses and enterprises that many travellers miss or take for granted."

Please Do Not Climb Uluru
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-...50?pfmredir=sm
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2013-...-uluru/4728726
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-...cision/9103512

In this largely unsustainable world, there is much ancient, timeless, wisdom to learn from the best of Indigenous Aboriginal Culture, and the wonderful progressive things the younger generations are doing today

For all BF members visiting our lovely country - If there is somewhere that you visit, something you experience, or learn, based on the book - please feel free to post it here, and your comments for fellow travellers - Thank you :)




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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 23:58   #2
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Unhappy Further Cultural Context for visitors to our shores ....

There is a shameful Colonial past not even fully recognized today -- the theft of a country, the massacre of a peoples .....

The Killing Times: the massacres of Aboriginal people Australia must confront
https://www.theguardian.com/australi...-must-confront

Interactive Map
https://www.theguardian.com/australi...-frontier-wars

"As the toll of Australia’s frontier brutality keeps climbing, truth telling is long overdue"
https://www.theguardian.com/australi...s-long-overdue





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Old Monday 4th March 2019, 01:05   #3
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Thumbs up Dry Flood

February 2019: This is a classic event that this country is famous for ....

There is currently a 'dry flood' making its way through the Diamantina River 'Channel Country' to Birdsville, and then Lake Eyre, from the Winton area in Queensland (~1000km away).

This is due to a prior slow moving tropical low that gave Townsville about a years worth of rain in a week, and caused the Fitzroy river to swell to over 60km wide before flowing into the Gulf of Carpentaria. The attached catchment map shows how this happens. Magnificent !

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https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.n...ticle/10843080




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Old Monday 4th March 2019, 02:11   #4
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
February 2019: This is a classic event that this country is famous for ....

There is currently a 'dry flood' making its way through the Diamantina River 'Channel Country' to Birdsville, and then Lake Eyre, from the Winton area in Queensland (~1000km away).

This is due to a prior slow moving tropical low that gave Townsville about a years worth of rain in a week, and caused the Fitzroy river to swell to over 60km wide before flowing into the Gulf of Carpentaria. The attached catchment map shows how this happens. Magnificent !

Attachment 688646

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.n...ticle/10843080




Chosun
Seems a waste of fresh water.
Is there no way to implement water trapping features to restore a more productive environment?
There was a report in the Wall Street Journal some time back of a rural activist in Pakistan who helped restore the water table in his area by digging shallow berms to block the rapid run off of monsoon rains. Perhaps such an approach might be helpful in Australia as well.
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Old Monday 4th March 2019, 04:57   #5
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Seems a waste of fresh water.
Is there no way to implement water trapping features to restore a more productive environment?
There was a report in the Wall Street Journal some time back of a rural activist in Pakistan who helped restore the water table in his area by digging shallow berms to block the rapid run off of monsoon rains. Perhaps such an approach might be helpful in Australia as well.
The part of the rainfall that fell on the southern side of the ranges and has flowed inland is vital for revitalizing 1000's of km of 'Channel Country' - country that otherwise has an annual rainfall something like 133mm at Birdsville. Effectively this does recharge the soil moisture profile, lens, and watertables and is key to eventually forming soil carbon. It's the only way this country works. A beautifully efficient system when the natural processes are left alone (intact wetlands, riparian and floodplain areas, not dammed etc). Eventually this water will find it's way to the Inland sea 'Lake Eyre' which is only periodically inundated, and then sparks mass breeding events.

Damming and harvesting floodplains via landscape scale diversionary berms etc is exactly the sort of mischief that has seen the death of millions of fish in the Murray Darling Basin and an indication of severe system decline (see the "Water bird numbers down 70% in the Murray-Darling basin in ~ 30 years" thread https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=345778 ). Contouring and small scale berms etc do have a roll to play in transitional repair of erosion and degraded systems (as per the info in the "Natural Sequence Farming" thread https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=342128 ), but by far the most elegant storage of flooding rains (even monsoonal) is in wetlands and floodplain soil profiles and vegetation.

The bulk of the monsoonal, tropical depression, and cyclone floodwaters flow north and east out to sea. Along the way they revitalize floodout zones, river tributaries, and deltas, eventually delivering vital (natural nutrient and critter laden) fresh water flows to the coastal nurseries and oceans. Negative impacts occur when artificial fertilizers from agricultural land deposit excess nutrients on the Great Barrier Reef for example.

There is always the argument over how much of these ocean bound flows are actually necessary, and how much is 'excess'. There may even be sites high in the northern facing catchments that would be suitable for dams and reservoirs for hydroelectricity and reverse pumping between several to act as virtual batteries and energy storage for renewable energy generation. The general rule though, no matter which way the rivers run, is that if you are not building soil from floods - then your land is dying.

From time to time some clueless populists and exploiters call to 'open up the north' with the same sort of agriculture, dams, and irrigation, as we have down south, and indeed throughout the world, to provide a global food bowl. Many of our environments and species are just hanging on by a thread. I hope to the great Rainbow Serpent that such stoopidity never comes to pass. Modern man's ability to successfully manage anything for the long term has been proven to be just about zero.

Some of the Inland systems should be quite the sight to see for visitors to our country over the next ~6 months. Many species won't wait until Spring to breed, but will knock out as many broods as possible one after the other to take advantage of the good times .... :)
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...composer=false






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Last edited by Chosun Juan : Monday 4th March 2019 at 21:47. Reason: brief video link, thread links
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Old Tuesday 5th March 2019, 23:13   #6
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Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post


From time to time some clueless populists and exploiters call to 'open up the north' with the same sort of agriculture, dams, and irrigation, as we have down south, and indeed throughout the world, to provide a global food bowl. Many of our environments and species are just hanging on by a thread. I hope to the great Rainbow Serpent that such stoopidity never comes to pass. Modern man's ability to successfully manage anything for the long term has been proven to be just about zero.


https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...composer=false

Chosun
You raise a very critical point that I ignored.
Human greed can screw up anything and those with good intentions are the most easily suckered. So the run off may be the least damaging option.
That said, the incongruity of huge floods in the desert will continue to attract visionaries of all stripes. Someday perhaps that will be a powerful politician who wants to 'fix' that.
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Old Wednesday 6th March 2019, 14:07   #7
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
You raise a very critical point that I ignored.
Human greed can screw up anything and those with good intentions are the most easily suckered. So the run off may be the least damaging option.
That said, the incongruity of huge floods in the desert will continue to attract visionaries of all stripes. Someday perhaps that will be a powerful politician who wants to 'fix' that.
Etudiant,

Hopefully non-indigenous populations are finally waking up to the wisdom of the elders. I have to say we have some of the most professional and accomplished researchers here, anywhere in the world. The Wentworth Group of concerned scientists is a standout.

While huge floods headed to the 'desert' interior may 'seem' 'incongruent', it is actually a critical and vital bringer of life. There is nothing to fix - it is essential. This is a very ancient and flat land. Those floodplains have been created minute particle of clay by minute particle over millenia. A wonderful precision self leveling system that any concreter could only dream about.

It transforms dry country into a giant oasis. The Channel Country experiencing the current dry flood is some of our most unregulated (ie. intact) watersheds we have. It allows a boom of life to spread from refugia over the entire floodplain system. Things such as the Letter-winged Kite populations rise and fall in line with these cycles. Coming up will be a great time for visitors to see these elusive birds of the interior. The following link gives a great picture of this unusual ecosystem and is well worth the read. More birds breed here in the flood boom times than in Kakadu !
http://www.lakeeyrebasin.gov.au/abou...ts-and-animals
Also, have a look at this book by Professor Richard Kingsford - Lake Eyre Basin Rivers
https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/boo...-basin-rivers/

Even this system though (the size of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas combined) is subject to 'development pressures - feral animals, over grazing, continual attempts to extract water for mining etc. The health of the landscape is just as important as the water.

Contrast that to the adjacent Murray Darling basin system (the size of France and Germany combined, or 4x the size of the British Isles, or the size of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Kansas combined) to the east which has just about been killed by exploitation and mismanagement. 1000's of km of river system, wetlands and floodplain lay drained and dry. The tiny stagnant putrid pools of green water that exist are fit for neither man nor beast. In fact a second Cultural Genocide is taking place - right now.

This is a system in grave danger due to overexploitation. The same type of nonsense is mooted for 'The North'. There was even a scheme proposed as far back as 1938 to pipe north flowing (to the Gulf of Carpentaria) rivers inland.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Eyre_basin

Such schemes are fraught with unaccounted for consequences and man has not proven fit to alter natural systems in this way. I believe the current Murray Darling Basin disgrace will end up in a Federal Royal Commission.




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Old Tuesday 19th March 2019, 04:37   #8
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Smile Lake Eyre begins filling with Queensland floodwaters as Birdsville roads reopen

Boom times for wildlife in the outback :)
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...16?pfmredir=sm
""There's definitely more birdlife that's really starting to appear and I'd expect in the next few weeks or few months quite a considerable increase along that Diamantina floodplain,"




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Old Friday 5th April 2019, 10:53   #9
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Smile A Surge of Blue and Green in Australia - NASA imagery of outback 'dry flood'

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/im...PPvl6b1IDb1Bvw

Any visitors to our shores soon should definitely check this area out :)





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Old Saturday 27th April 2019, 02:44   #10
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Exclamation The folly of redirecting northern floodwaters to 'drought proof' inland Australia ...

The populist politicians folly of redirecting northern floodwaters (from cyclones, tropical depressions, and the 'wet season') to 'drought proof' inland Australia and 'open it' up for agriculture, long mooted since the 1930's has been disproven numerous times on economic, engineering, and environmental grounds.
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...tc&pfmredir=sm

Importantly, those floodwaters flowing north into the Gulf of Carpentaria, or the east coast of FNQ, are not "excess" but a vital part of the renewal of the riverine, estuarine, and coastal ecosystems.

Likewise any floodwaters falling on the southern and western side of the northern catchments 'ranges' are vital for the renewal of the braided floodplains of the interior Channel Country, and refilling of wetlands and lakes .... eventually ending up at the below sea level central Australia interior Lake Eyre. This is some of the hottest, driest, and relatively untouched country that we have (excluding domesticated grazing pressure).

The recent series of intense floods in northern Queensland has seen a portion of those waters flowing toward the interior. Lake Eyre is approximately half full, and predicted to get to possibly 3/4 full .... about the best since 1974 .... should do wonders for the cyclical bird life out there




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Old Saturday 27th April 2019, 06:33   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
The populist politicians folly of redirecting northern floodwaters (from cyclones, tropical depressions, and the 'wet season') to 'drought proof' inland Australia and 'open it' up for agriculture, long mooted since the 1930's has been disproven numerous times on economic, engineering, and environmental grounds.
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...tc&pfmredir=sm

Importantly, those floodwaters flowing north into the Gulf of Carpentaria, or the east coast of FNQ, are not "excess" but a vital part of the renewal of the riverine, estuarine, and coastal ecosystems.

Likewise any floodwaters falling on the southern and western side of the northern catchments 'ranges' are vital for the renewal of the braided floodplains of the interior Channel Country, and refilling of wetlands and lakes .... eventually ending up at the below sea level central Australia interior Lake Eyre. This is some of the hottest, driest, and relatively untouched country that we have (excluding domesticated grazing pressure).

The recent series of intense floods in northern Queensland has seen a portion of those waters flowing toward the interior. Lake Eyre is approximately half full, and predicted to get to possibly 3/4 full .... about the best since 1974 .... should do wonders for the cyclical bird life out there




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I watched a piece here in the UK on one of our news channels about so called 'bought back' water, scandalous what's been allowed to happen.
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Old Saturday 27th April 2019, 06:54   #12
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Unhappy

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I watched a piece here in the UK on one of our news channels about so called 'bought back' water, scandalous what's been allowed to happen.
Yep - making a business out of water rights and dealing through Cayman islands based companies is pretty shady .... meanwhile the 'real' Darling River system dies from all the 'real' water harvested from 'imaginary' allocations ...... I will add a piece on that in the other thread.

In the meantime it's good to see the Diamatina River, Cooper's Creek and the rest of the Channel Country etc getting an uninterrupted drink. Should be a real boon for the wildlife in that neighbouring inland catchment system.



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Old Saturday 27th April 2019, 07:07   #13
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I was very surprised to see that they grew a relatively 'thirsty' crop like cotton in the region and even more surprised given the scarcity of natural water in the area that they were given permission?
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Old Saturday 27th April 2019, 08:07   #14
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I was very surprised to see that they grew a relatively 'thirsty' crop like cotton in the region and even more surprised given the scarcity of natural water in the area that they were given permission?
You're not the only one ! Nice soils out that way, but only cyclical water, and summer temps over 40°C make fallow agriculture and open water storage marginal (and fallow farming methods are unsustainable anyway in my view - regenerative agriculture is the only real game in town).

The whole MDBA plan is the subject of huge debate and interest in the prudence and efficacy of the $13B invested by taxpayers.

If you have a look at the catchment map in post#3 you will see that the Murray Darling basin is east of the Channel Country one leading to Lake Eyre. The MDB is dry as a bone at the moment and near death, it's been where all the fish kills are, and all the over allocated (non-existent) water /inappropriate agriculture is (mostly in the western half of that, where the rivers run).

The Lake Eyre basin (next one over west in the centre of Australia) is where the tropical cyclone /depression floodwaters way up in the north of Queensland are flowing down those systems in a 'dry flood'. Anyone coming to Oz in the next 4 or 5 months would be well advised to get out west into the Centre for a bit of a bird breeding explosion




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Old Saturday 27th April 2019, 12:13   #15
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……….... The attached catchment map shows how this happens. Magnificent !

Attachment 688646

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.n...ticle/10843080


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Just discovered this most illustrative map. Thanks for posting it!
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Old Saturday 27th April 2019, 15:46   #16
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Thumbs up Rainfall Catchment Map

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Just discovered this most illustrative map. Thanks for posting it!
Welcome !
That cyclone /tropical depression system that hit far north Queensland ended up sitting on the junction of 3 catchments - sending flood water north to the Gulf, east, and south-west to Lake Eyre. It was quite something to see footage weeks later around Birdsville ~1000km away when it was bone dry and 40+°C, and then watching floodwaters creep down the river and floodplain system !

Here is an even more detailed map which clearly demonstrates why I call the whole creek-river-wetland-floodplain systems the "arteries of the land" ....

Click image for larger version

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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 14:49   #17
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What a brilliant thread - thanks for posting Chosun!

I'm very excited to be making my first trip to Cairns/Atherton/Daintree and Darwin/Kakdu next month, but a bit gutted not have found this thread earlier and explored the possibility of getting to Lake Eyre.

The first map makes it easier to grasp the major watersheds, and the second map is astonishingly beautiful!

Are there any pix emerging of the Lake Eyre breeding event?

Cheers
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Old Thursday 27th June 2019, 16:20   #18
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What a brilliant thread - thanks for posting Chosun!

I'm very excited to be making my first trip to Cairns/Atherton/Daintree and Darwin/Kakdu next month, but a bit gutted not have found this thread earlier and explored the possibility of getting to Lake Eyre.

The first map makes it easier to grasp the major watersheds, and the second map is astonishingly beautiful!

Are there any pix emerging of the Lake Eyre breeding event?

Cheers
Mike
Mike, enjoy your trip ! :)
Try this ABC TV news program snippet - it shows the nature of the flood out zones quite well. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NWy0P3b_c5s

Large parts of central /eastern Australia (ie. also the huge Murray-Darling basin, as well as the coastal woodlands, and wetlands too) would have operated like this - a paradise ! ..... before the British got their hands on it (the functioning of wetlands, and creek systems was degraded and destroyed within the first decade of hard hooved stock grazing, draining, and clearing etc ...... ), let alone the insidious and pervasive dams, drains, and industrial scale exploitation that we have now ......

Hopefully it's quite good for the rarer raptors that depend on such events such as the Letter-winged Kite, and the Grey Falcon. I hope that environmental managers also have the good sense (and funding and resources) to ramp up feral control (particularly foxes and cats) to the moon and back !




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Last edited by Chosun Juan : Thursday 27th June 2019 at 16:36.
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Old Friday 28th June 2019, 11:00   #19
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Thanks for the YT link for Lake Eyre

I had heard about this but never seen the flooding - maybe with changing weather patterns this spectacular phenomenon might get more frequent.....to the benefit of all concerned!

Good birding

Laurie -
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