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Tony Burke must respect independence of MDBA

Comments yesterday from Tony Burke, Federal Minister with responsibility for water, appear to infringe upon the statutory independence of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, according to environmental and public water rights advocacy group, Fair Water Use.

Italy shows Australia the way on water reform

Recent legislation to privatise water services in Italy has met with staunch public resistance and a well-organised national campaign, resulting in the tabling of a petition of around 1.5 million signatures from citizens opposed to this legislation - three times as many as are required to call a referendum on the issue.

Australian politicians selling-out on Australia's water security

Without obtaining the prior mandate of the electorate, successive Australian governments have been seeking to establish a water-market in this country. For as long as the people of Australia are required to “buy-back” the nation’s water, especially during times of crisis, they will have no water security. Bidding-wars, as currently being waged by Senators Wong and Joyce, are now an unattractive and dangerous feature of Australian water policy: profits arising will be privatised but the impacts will be borne by the Australian public. The electorate of this country must be given the opportunity to indicate whether it wishes its water to be privatised and exposed to global speculation - or protected for future generations of Australians.

Time to come clean with the real costs of water


The original case for Labor's controversial $1 billion food bowl upgrade was rejected by state cabinet because the government's promised water savings could not be achieved for the price tag of $1 billion, it has been revealed.
Farmers have slammed an independent report that says Murrumbidgee and Murray irrigators should make big sacrifices to help revive the Murray-Darling Basin. The cut would drain at least $2.7 billion out of the basin's economy.
The north-south pipeline has provided a mere 16.7 billion litres. That translates to a piddling 1% of Melbourne’s current water supply.

Vic Gov to trash Melbourne's water recycling market gardens for quick bucks in thirsty new suburbs

21.5% of Melbourne's sewage is currently recycled to Class A or C recycled water standard. This is mainly used on market gardens, open spaces, golf courses, vineyards and to reduce dust at construction sites. Most of the remaining treated effluent is discharged into Port Phillip Bay and Bass Straits under accredited EPA licences. Now there is a plan to trash the network of pipes that supplies recycled water to Melbourne's market gardens, just to build more suburbs to satisfy the construction lobby's demand for more immigrants to buy houses. In the mean-time we are subjected to constant harassment from the Victorian government to make us use less water.

Australia's search for another food bowl


Almost the entire Basin had been explored and occupied by Europeans within 50 years of the crossing of the Great Dividing Range. The development of a European way of life resulted in
unintentional degradation of many of the Basin’s natural resources. There have been warnings of impending disaster for the Murray–Darling Basin for more than a decade, but here near the mouth it is suddenly real and shockingly rapid. Inflows to the Murray system remain at record lows. The removal of water for last summer’s irrigation, coupled with evaporation, has seen lake levels plummet. The search for another food bowl is on!

Protest at Adelaide Federal Community Cabinet to demand action to save the Murray-Darling

On Wednesday 20 January, South Australian State Independent MP David Winderlich is organising a massive protest outside a scheduled Federal Cabinet meeting to demand effective action to save the Murray-Darling. The recent inundations of the northern headwaters give this Government a rare opportunity to save the our dying river system, that is, if it has the political will to stand up to commercial interests who would, instead, divert this much-needed water for their own short-term gain.

When: 20th January 2009 at 4:30pm (assemble at 4pm)
Where: Norwood Morialta High School Oval, 505 The Parade Magill

Please phone (08) 8237 9278 or email benjamin.howieson [ AT ] parliament.sa.gov.au if you can help.
See also: "MDBA legally obliged to place the health of Murray Darling above all else" of 12 Jan 10, See also: "Canberra must deliver on promised audit of private water storages" of 7 Jan 10, fairwateruse.com.au.

MDBA legally obliged to place the health of Murray Darling above all else

When Fair Water Use contacted Mr Mike Taylor, Chairman of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority he confirmed that the MDBA is legally obliged to place the health of the river system ahead of all other considerations. Accordingly, Fair Water Use urged the authority to do all that it could to use the inundations that have blessed much of its northern headwaters to breathe life back into our dying river system and not allow this opportunity be squandered to serve narrow vested commercial interests.

See also: "Canberra must deliver on promised audit of private water storages" of 7 Jan 10.

No More Admissions Required: Australia Is Full!

Are Australians being patriotic or simply bigoted, for wanting to contain immigration numbers?What is the definition of racist? What is the definition of patriotic? Do Australians have a right to be patriotic.. and concerned & protective of their dwindling assets, namely land and water?

Queensland towns of Dalby, Toowoomba and Maleny, running out of water


‘Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink;’ Thus spoke the Ancient Mariner in the 18th century. A recent report  warns that without global action, demand for water in 2030 will outstrip supply by 40 per cent. Ray Brown, Mayor of the outback Queensland town of Dalby, says the town's in real danger of running out of water and restrictions may be increased to their highest level if the situation doesn't improve. Dam levels in Toowoomba, Queensland's biggest inland city, are down to 8.5 per cent.

State governments continue to promote untenable exploitation of the Murray-Darling

(Photo of Ian Douglas) The NSW Government's irresponsible allocation of 250 billion litres of water to produce a rice crop, worth only an estimated AU$55million, poses an unacceptable threat to the health of the Murray Darling system, including downstream comunities no longer able to drink the water which flows from their taps. Article originally published as "State of emergency" on 4th Nov.09 on ABC Unleashed web site. Media Release included. See also: www.fairwateruse.com.au

Campaign for State of Emergency on Water in Australia

Water, your life depends on it. And the state governments, whose responsibility it is, are not managing it properly. Fair Water Use is asking people to help with a national campaign, which is calling for the declaration of a State of Emergency regarding the Murray-Darling Basin and for independent management at a different level of government. We the people have to do something; we cannot leave it to state or national Australian governments alone; our lives may be at stake.

How the media prepared us to give up our land

The propaganda against the 1/4 acre block started a few decades ago. - appearing as opinion pieces in newspapers. I believe this propaganda was aimed at very ordinary people in suburbs with traditional blocks. It was to prepare them to relinquish this lifestyle and for their children not to expect it in the normal course of events. It wasn't aimed at the rich; it was aimed at ordinary people.

Desalination problems: ecological, environmental, democratic and production volume


Earth Matters, 31 Aug 2009
On the pristine coast of southern Victoria construction of one of the world’s biggest desalination plants is set to go ahead. Earth Matters talks to local campaigner Stephen Cannon, oceanographer Jochen Kaempf and water expert Peter Coombes about the risks of and alternatives to this ‘silver bullet’ approach to water supply problems. File Download (28:58 min / 13 MB)

Tim Holding, Minister for Water and Tourism, didn't learn much from his brush with death recently!

(Historical Thompson River when full; Wikipedia Commons)
It seems that some of our leaders can't join the dots and draw conclusions! An extra 10 billion litres of water will be drawn out of the Thomson River to supply Melbourne each year until Victoria's desalination plant is up and running.

"Cynical" - proposed logging of Brown Mountain and impact on jobs

Article about Brown Mountain on the Anarchist media net says that the logging of Brown Mountain will be done by public servants who would be otherwise deployed in our poorly tended ecosystems if they were not sent off to log. However EEG disagrees on this point. See related important corrections to original article in comments below it inside. They also make interesting reading.

PM urged to take acting lessons from Californian Governor

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, has declared a State of Emergency over water shortage there, but Australia's water shortage is far worse and has been more prolonged, yet our ecologically uneducated, incompetent and corrupt politicians sit on their hands

as the Good Ship Australia heads faster and faster to run aground as a desert island.

See also: "Environmental group calls for declaration of State of Emergency to save dying Murray-Darling system" of 5 Sep 08, www.fairwateruse.com.au.

Coalition, Greens & DLP vote Tim Holding's North South Pipeline enabling regulations down!

Victoria's Water Minister, Tim Holding, is angry that his government's regulations to allow country water to be funnelled to Melbourne via a north-south pipeline were rejected in the Victorian parliament on Wednesday. The opposition moved a disallowance motion to block the order, which regulates the delivery of pipeline water. The Greens and DLP supported the motion, giving the coalition the numbers it needed for it to pass.

Bulk water entitlements: There's a hole in the bucket, Mr Brumby

"It will be interesting to see if the exact matters we have argued through the legislative process end up being argued in a court somewhere, where perhaps some of the facts we have been so desperately trying to expose can for once be tested. Perhaps the people in the community can be offered not just an environmental and social future but some answers to the questions they have been so regularly and constantly asking." Greg Barber, Greens MLC 12-8-09

Brumby's wet dream interrupted in Parliament - (North-South Pipeline Victoria)

“Today’s successful disallowance motion in Parliament highlights the overwhelming opposition to the Government’s attempts to loot water from food producers and the environment because it has failed to plan for Melbourne’s future water needs,” Mr Ryan, Liberal Nationals Coalition.

Parliament disallows Brumby's bulk water entitlement for North-South Pipeline

“The Order clearly breached commitments the government made to the environment, food producers and Victorian communities and shows the Brumby Government is prepared to place the future of farming communities and our rivers in jeopardy for the sake of sending 75 gigalitres of northern Victoria’s water to Melbourne."

Desalination - when bulemic sprawl exceeds carrying capacity

Fresh water dam capacity is a known determinant of a dependent population's capacity. Once dam levels drop below critical levels, water demand has clearly exceeded supply. So logically, rationally, naturally, excessive demand ought to be tempered and curtailed. This is what rationally follows in macroeconomics, like when Australia's Reserve Bank increases interest rates to dampen excess demand. It doesn't suggest we import more.

But governments spin their own reality and now employ communication consultants to evangelise that spin.

National water crisis: Prime Minister missing in inaction

In response to today's news that the Queensland government is still considering activating sleeper licences to the Cooper Creek system, the coordinator of Fair Water Use (Australia), Dr Ian Douglas, is today reported as saying: "The Rudd Government stands condemned for its failure to put an end to the dysfunctional and conflicting governance arrangements that have brought the Murray-Darling to its knees."

See also: "Qld Govt told to keep hands off SA water" on the ABC on 3 Aug 09, "Artesian basin water auction sells out environment and farmers" of  Jul 09, "'Last undefiled waterway' threatened" by Asa Wahlquist in The Australian of 13 Jul 09, fairwateruse.com.au.

Globalisation of Victoria's water supplies will be funded by the users, Victoria's citizens.


Multinational company Suez Environnement estimates the Victorian desal plant will generate more than $2 billion in revenue over the next 30 years. With GDF Suez’ existing record of environmental destruction in the Amazon, their submission to build Wonthaggi's desalination plant should be dismissed.

Important Radio Interview:Ian Douglas on U.N. &Oz Water Rights, Royal Commission & State of Emergency

Tune in to this ABC Radio interview with Ian Douglas, National Coordinator of Fair Water Use about the role of private reserves in the disappearance of water in the Darling River today, 28-7-2009. Dr Douglas's comments go beyond the immediate condition of the Darling River, into Australians' human rights and our right to change laws. It explains why the UN backs the need for a Royal Commission. Publicity is being given to this interview because of the dire need Australia has of spokespeople able to form appropriate concepts and priorities on this matter.

Secretive Private water increase MAIN cause of Darling R. crisis - NOT drought - UN supports Emergency Enquiry

Listen to interview.
New data shows that the effect of the rapid increase in privately-held water in the Darling Basin on the volumes of water available for essential public and environmental use is the main cause of the water crisis, not the drought. The Senior water advisor to the United Nations supports a call for declaration of a State of Emergency and the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the management of the water of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Artesian basin water auction sells out environment and farmers

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon is calling on the NSW government to halt tomorrow's auction of 1,200 mega litres of water from the Artesian Basin in Walgett that was saved through the Commonwealth and landowners' funded Cap and Pipe the Bores Program.

Victoria: Urban Boundaries Expansion is another name for Lebensraum

Developers, led by Planning Minister Justin Madden, in a move reminiscent of Hitler's tanks on Poland, are poised to invade and bulldoze the green wedges to enrich themselves, with the same excuses for aggression of ‘lebenraum’ – living space - despite the objections of the people who live there. Is there a Churchill in Victoria with the guts to stop the bulldozers or will the government sacrifice democracy completely? Here is a submission that spells out what the damage will be if the Opposition allows the government to legitimise the totalitarian aggression of “lebensraum” – Urban Boundaries Expansion.

Rights of Landowners against the State: Farmers vs Brumby Government, Victoria, Australia

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens was passed in France in 1789 and people all over the world since have based their social standards on these rights. Serfdom was repealed and it was declared That Property is an inviolable and inalienable right and That the natural rights of man are liberty, property, safety and resistance against oppression.

In Australia, however, these rights are increasingly in doubt. On 27 August a case in Seymour Magistrates Court will examine right of property owners against the state: Brumby Government against two Yea landowners. Rights to enter freehold land prior to acquisition under Land Acquisition and Compensation Act.

Victoria: Urban Growth Boundary extension into Green Wedges

The public are finding democratic ways to combat the devastation of all they hold dear and threats to life itself, as Victoria's government closes its eyes and steps as hard on the growth-accelerator as it can. You may already know about the requisitioning of 50,000 ha for residential development and new roads and the government's intention to simply take away our green wedges and get rid of our wildlife and trees. Yes our democracy is being trampled along with everything else, but we have not entirely lost people power.

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