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Water bird numbers down 70% in the Murray-Darling Basin over ~30 years (1 Viewer)

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
'Pumped' Four Corners episode replay 8pm Saturday 29th July ABC24

Plenty of discussion, finger pointing, and outrage has been stirred up by the Australian ABC TV investigative program Four Corners episode 'pumped'.

As a taxpayer, I can say that we all endured a lot of financial pain so that the whole issue of over extraction, irrigation agriculture in inappropriate places, certainty and rules based equity for primary producers with a need to be globally competitive, and most importantly, ongoing sustainability for environmental health backed by rigorous, conservative, best practice science, could be professionally and equitably dealt with once and for all.

To hear that there is deliberate non-compliance, water theft, lack of appetite for enforcement by the responsible government departments, systematic dismantling of compliance investigation and prosecution capability, and even wilful scheming by officials and senior beaureaucrats to deliberately sabotage and circumvent the Murray-Darling Basin plan is disgraceful.

All of this criminality and corruption is on top of very real concerns that the correct 'balance' among all stakeholders has not been struck which allows ongoing environmental health. The official line seems to be that it's too early to tell, despite seemingly inappropriate water extraction rules in certain circumstances, no real accurate and comprehensive picture of the current water take, and no significant bounce back in environment health as Professor Richard Kingsford's study shows.

Here is the view from the NSW Farmer's Federation - who want equity, compliance, and certainty for their members
https://www.farmers.org.au/news-upd...rs-president-statement-4corners-28072017.html

And here is a report in the peak rural newspaper detailing some of the complexities of the issue
http://www.theland.com.au/story/4809455/nsws-irrigation-rules-spark-outcry/

Last chance to catch a replay of 'Pumped' on free to air TV in half an hour - 8pm channel ABC News (ABC24)


Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Here is a link to the Four Corners 'Pumped' episode page which contains a full transcript of the program, and a link button to the iview streaming service - program only available to watch on this until the 16th August.
http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2017/07/24/4705065.htm

Also a copy of a privacy edited copy of the response by the NSW DPI (re:- Gavin Hanlon etc),
https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/354543882/Response-from-NSW-Department-of-Primary-Industries

It seems that we can add buck passing, and lax licensing and compliance systems design. Pretty unprofessional really. Dodgy irrigators must be laughing all the way to the bank, with in some cases, nothing more onerous than a logbook required - one that is all too easy for the dog to eat (along with the kids homework! :), with the risk of nothing more punishing than a slap on the wrist for taking ?????? litres of water illegally ..... :storm:



Chosun :gh:
 
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elkcub

Silicon Valley, California
United States
Hi Chosun,

I don't mean to be pessimistic, but this reminds me of what the author of Dune said:
... Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class -- whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy.

Frank Herbert
Tell me he's wrong, .... please!

Ed :-C
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hi Chosun,

I don't mean to be pessimistic, but this reminds me of what the author of Dune said:
Quote:
"... Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class -- whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy."

Frank Herbert


Tell me he's wrong, .... please!

Ed :-C
Hi Ed :hi:

That's an apt quote, from quite the author. Humans run the spectrum from those that will give everything they have, to those that will take everything they want. The outcome of the eternal tussle between light and dark rests on the heart of man. Hopefully we're tipping the balance - one expanded spark of light at a time. Even though the 'dawning of the age of aquarius' seems to be taking its own good time ..... I remain optimistic! o:) :t:

There is genuine will by the Australian people to save the environment and some $13 Billion has been invested/earmarked for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. People had trusted that it was sorted, but it seems there is quite some way to go ..... Fixing up the environmental water share will be just the start, then somewhat of a quantum leap in awareness will be required to repair the erosion and wetland damage using Natural Sequence Farming techniques etc.

I choose to believe that any governance and systems design shortcomings are more the result of misguided populism and lack of expertise and competence by our politicians (as well as factional power plays and horse trading), rather than any sinister influence of dark overlords. Certain individual and corporate piggies at the trough have definitely succumbed to greedy opportunism in the dark shadows. We need to get rid of the water trading as an acceptable primary business model .... it seems that Billions $ may have already been wasted on such unproductive and environmentally degrading practices.

Thank goodness for credible environmental scientists like Professor Richard Kingsford, but it's not just the environmentalists ringing the alarm bells over the shortcomings of the plan (even if the illegalities and compliance issues were fixed). It seems that even the economists are on board, and when that unholy trinity comes to light it's time to sit up and take notice! :-O

Water being subject to gravity, One of the gross failures of logic that is now being more widely understood, is that gains from irrigation and water use efficiences, result in corresponding losses by reduced return (leakage) back to the environment. This useless loop coming at great financial cost to the taxpayer!

Here is a quote from one of the plethora of who's who water economists that brought quite the smile to my face:
''The government's claim that it is creating 'new' water is spurious in the extreme. When water is purportedly 'lost' in the irrigation district, it does not go to Mars. It is not lost at all, it has just gone somewhere else.''
http://www.stockandland.com.au/story/3641281/brumbys-water-plan-savaged/

The deputy Prime Minister has also been caught out shooting himself in the foot ....... (after a few beers! :) B :)
http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/4817655/barnaby-joyce-unloads-on-four-corners-water-report/?cs=7

Hopefully this whole issue will now receive proper scrutiny and the environment / irrigation allocation balance be reset more in line with the sustainable environmental health purpose and intent of the Plan .... and sooner than the currently programmed 5 year on-ground review time frame. That would be highly satisfyingly ironic o:D


Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
More crooked than a boomerang, a bigger stink than a pile of rotting European Carp ..

"Nats & the Water Rats"
------------------------------------

That's today's front page headline in mainstream daily newspaper - The Daily Telegraph. Political party donaters benefitting from retroactive decisions, attempted retroactive changes to regulations, inter-governmental department loggerheads, resignations, a Federal Inquiry announced, and still the calls for a Judicial Inquiry by other State Premiers ring loud .....

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/ne...s/news-story/a94ab3781f344f167308e607f277e9c7

http://www.news.com.au/national/bre...w/news-story/1d8c3b0547363cb0478afc89743a390e



Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Well, it's taken a week, but the mainstream newspaper 'The Daily Telegraph' (left, or our Australian Labour Party leaning - mostly! , it has become much more Conservative/Liberal these days after the last economic disaster of the previous Rudd/Gillard/Rudd Labour Government ) is finally running with this story and now claiming that it broke it as well!
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/ne...s/news-story/6c21a999009b3d2e7bb1d1e58a4e1f1f

Plenty to dig up here folks, we will just have to see what sort of enquiry we get ....... :cat:

Rather than fix the problem, politicians are mooting a half $Billion pipeline to provide water for Broken Hill ! :eek!: ...... ever get the feeling that 'mining' the taxpayer has become THE new Core Global Mining Business ?? ?? :-C

[EDIT]: . Oops! It seems that link runs into a subscriber pay wall - try a Google search "Water, water, everywhere The Daily Telegraph" , that's how I initially accessed the report I saw in Wednesdays newspaper.



Chosun :gh:
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Thanks for that update :t:

Several good things to come out of the Matthews report:
* The standing down of Hanlon
* The 'no meter - no pump' recommendation
* The 'publicly transparent licensing conditions and records' recommendation.

I am less keen on a further layer of buearacracy though - surely the whole kit and kaboodle should be administered by the Federal Environment Department, and the Murray Darling Basin Plan should be reset within sustainable environmental limits.

I think the Kingsford report shows that we are way over allocated even if everyone was playing by the rules.

We need a reality check and to realize that 'lost water does not go to Mars' and therefore no 'new water' can be created by increasing irrigation efficiencies (even though that should be pursued).

This is one of the largest and most beautiful river systems in the world - on one of the oldest, driest continents on earth - a paradise.

The good faith of the Australian (and world) population has been betrayed, and I would agree that nothing less than a Royal Commission with broad ranging, open terms along the lines that I have detailed above is satisfactory.

This is the time for a complete holistic reset - not just tinkering at the edges, or thinking that regulatory reform is the endgame ......



Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Organised Crime Squad raids http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-...alleged-fraud-goondiwindi-cotton-farm/9080280

and,
"Renewed call for royal commission into Murray-Darling Basin after Queensland cotton farm raided during water fraud investigation"
http://www.news.com.au/national/sou...n/news-story/d072ffc57cac78c6f4ed6a9cbe744b26

A Royal Commission AND Governance redesign to best practice is required ....... "It was the equivalent of handing the chicken coop to the fox." -- Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia.



Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Interesting times!

Federal Water Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce at the Centre of this whole Murray-Darling storm has been ruled ineligible to hold office in Parliament on account of being a citizen of another country (despite being born in Australia - crazy times! :) . He is now running in an upcoming By-election after fixing his citizenship issue to the satisfaction of the Constitution. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nat...s/news-story/43976890dd9a6e186608d3f784406834

The Water portfolio will temporarily be taken over by Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull - whose Liberal party has just lost its clear majority in Parliament.

Senator Nick Xenophon who is pushing for a Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling and water scandals was also under a citizenship and eligibility cloud, but has been cleared by the High Court. Ironically, he had already announced his resignation from Federal politics to run for Office in the South Australian State Legislature.

Where does all of this leave the original Murray-Darling and water corruption allegations? ....... who knows! Stay tuned - hopefully the Federal Opposition will take up the issue even if only as a political football, though they have been pretty quiet since the story broke .....



Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
~ 1 Million fish killed !!!!!

Jeez, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since I last posted on this thread ! There have been wholesale politician clearouts, and even the knifing of the then Prime Minister. I haven't had the time to keep up with the various Inquiry and Royal Commission calls, and what has actually taken place and the outcomes.

I think there were some minor prosecutions, but questions over the balance and viability of the Murray-Darling Basin plan are still in question.

Recently we had a fairly brutal heat wave pass through the country at the tail end of a long drought. Over the last few weeks, and again over the last two days has come news of a devastating fish kill on the Darling river over a 40km odd stretch. Estimates of a Million or so fish killed ...... from 1cm long fingerlings to 1.3m long 'centurion' Murray Cod, through countless endangered adult breeding size Silver Perch ....... :-C
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2181855185414687&id=224628930603&_rdr
https://www.abc.net.au/radio/progra...h-killed-in-the-murray-darling-basin/10697608

This is a long way from the living river paradise it should be - time to wake right up ! So maddeningly sad ........ :-C :storm:



Chosun :gh:
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
The finger pointing continues .....

However, the fact remains that when you have century-odd old Murray Cod floating belly up then something is wrong. This isn't the first rodeo they would have been to. They would have seen all manner of droughts, heatwaves, cold snaps, and floods before ....

The one thing that is new however is the greedy take of the natural system's water by humans.
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/tech...ths-a-man-made-disaster/ar-BBRZDbm?li=AAwmrQf

My take on it is that the destruction of the soil sponge and proper hydrological functioning of the land (constant steady release by the soil of water back to the core wetlands and creeks/rivers), and artificial fertilizer loads, also plays a large part .......




Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
The big danger with all the political faffing around, buck passing, corruption cover ups, water over allocation and extraction by industry, and general mismanagement, was that the river system would not have the usual resilience and ability to cope with the harsher periods of the natural climate cycles.

Well, now a real actual on-ground disaster has occurred, which has revealed that all the shuffling of deck chairs hasn't prevented the Titanic from crashing, and revealed that the emperor has been wearing no clothes all along.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?st...6801&id=105735272820062&anchor_composer=false

This whole thing stinks to high heaven ......... :storm:



Chosun :gh:
 

sicklebill

well-known Cretaceous relic
Australia
Thanks for this Chosun, just another sad part of Australia's lamentable environmental record where big business wins every time, blind Freddy can see you need more water in the river system but no-one will sort it out.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
A week of 45°C+ temperatures and further fish kills predicted

A week of 45°C+ temperatures and further fish kills predicted, claims of mismanagement and corruption, despair, and calls for a an independent scientific investigation, and a Royal Commission

The weather forecast looks grim with another heatwave expected this week, record temperatures possible, ~1000 tons of rotting fish sitting in the river, plagued with blue-green algae, no flows, more fish kills predicted, finger pointing and buck passing rife, political spin, and deck chair shuffling, calls for an independent scientific enquiry, and even calls for a Royal Commission ........ meanwhile a river system dies :storm:
https://amp.smh.com.au/national/nsw-ignored-warnings-on-threat-of-fish-kills-20190113-p50r4v.html
https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.net.au/article/10712662

Murray-Darling Basin: SA launches royal commission into alleged water theft (Nov 2017, established 23rd Jan 2018 - final report due 1st Feb 2019):
https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.net.au/article/9194368
https://www.mdbrc.sa.gov.au/
View attachment Submission-SA-Murray-Darling-Basin-Royal-Commission-Sept-18.pdf

Greens Senator again calls for a Federal Royal Commission
https://www.abc.net.au/radionationa...royal-commission-into-murray-darling/10707432




Chosun :gh:
 
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Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
I saw a series of interviews with Professor Mike Young, and several credible people last week, and finally have managed to find some written reports online.

These folk nail it - not all parts of the MDB plan deserve equal weight - without the environment there is nothing - no social factors, no industry, and no indigenous culture able to survive in the region ...... nothing - just death and an uninhabitable wasteland.

"Yes, it is hard to manage rivers like the Darling through drought, but that's Australia. If you haven't got a management plan that can manage the water through drought in the Darling, you haven't got a plan," Professor John Williams said.

Imagine an area the size of France and Germany combined, that should be a beautiful wetland paradise turned into the Sahara desert.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.abc.net.au/article/10716080
Interviews with:-
1. Adjunct Professor John Williams
2. Professor Richard Kingsford
3. Professor Michael Young
4. Professor Robyn Watts

Key amongst their insights is that too much water is intercepted before making its way into the system (also starving wetlands) , and that not enough consideration is given to drought scenarios and the "minimum hands off" flows that requires for sustainable system health.

Add to that excess nutrient load from agriculture /grazing, and the destruction of the soil sponge and increasing erosion (if the official insights manage to stretch that far), and you will pretty much have the findings of the Royal Commission due to be released soon .....

13 $Billion of taxpayer money spent and the plan is glaringly inadequate.




Chosun :gh:
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Fish kills will not be added to Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission purview

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.net.au/article/10726124

The commission is due to deliver is final report to SA Governor Hieu Van Le on February 1, and has said it will include "adverse assessments of many governmental decisions and processes."

Commissioner wants report published immediately
In a strongly worded response to Ms Chapman, Mr Walker urged "immediate and complete publication of the report".

"It is my view that the whole report should be published immediately," the letter stated.

"The public interest demands it. There are no countervailing considerations such as national security or the administration of justice.

"The national implications of the report's subject matter are also a reason for the report to be made available for consideration and criticism without delay." .....

.... "This is all the more important because my conclusions include adverse assessments of many governmental decisions and processes," the letter said.

"The criticism and justification of governmental conduct is peculiarly, in our society, best done openly."





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