What the water report to the PM said

The full report that prompted the PM’s dramatic announcement about the potential cessation of irrigation in the Murray-Darling is available at the bottom of this ABC News story.

The doomsday scenario outlined by the Prime Minister is not that likely, based on past statistics – as the irrigators have said, much of the water arrives in winter and spring, and even if there are no allocations right at the start of the season there may be some later.

That said, however, in the three weeks or so since the report (and the various other drought updates it was based on), was prepared, it has not rained in the Murray-Darling’s key catchments.

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Posted in environment, Water
12 comments on “What the water report to the PM said
  1. professor rat says:

    Mighty King John can now safely smite the orb and sceptre off that eunuch pretender who fatuously requested

    ‘ One for Mom, one for dad and one for the government’.

    I’d like to see that.

  2. steve says:

    Professor, isn’t your place on the list of towns that all this scaremongering is supposed to rescue? In Brisbane we are being visited weekly by Howard lately and I think Federal Cabinet is even meeting here next week but so far his pockets have been empty every time something needs fixing.

    So far he has given us bugger all towards water, nothing for disabilities, nothing for the Ipswich Road upgrade,nothing to help with the Health crisis but with the cockies now revolting against the Murray Darling cuts to water expect to see more of him down your way.

  3. steve says:

    One thing is for sure though, this is really going to be a nightmare for the National Party to contain. It is not the way farmers have done business in the past and they don’t like change being thrust upon them. Looks like independents in rural areas will be the big winners at the Federal election.

    Between irrigators and feedlots I’d say all hell will erupt once they get into the finer detail.

  4. Alan says:

    Mr. Howard has repeatedly said that he will not do anything about global warming that might damage the economy and he is absolutely correct: if you burn enough coal and cut down enough trees, you can get money to buy food. Right up until the last of the world’s foodbowls turns into a dustbowl.

  5. Megan says:

    The long range weather forecasts presage some succour on the horizon, with the wetter La Nina set to supersede the El Nino some time soon. But judging by the way things have been going we’re going to need a La Inunda. Howard has got to start doing an awful lot of raindancing, but then he could have got this Murray-Darling basin sorted out a long time ago if he’d taken it seriously and worked on it. As it is, his solution has just been a hastily put together set of reforms to trump the new guy Kevin Rudd and probably falls short of something really effective. He really doesn’t seem to think that urgent environmental problems require anything much more than a political fix. Even when it’s coming back to bite him on the bum he’s moving as if in a dream.

  6. steve says:

    One thing is for sure. Howard has been warned for years about the state of the Murray Darling Basin by ABARE. the CSIRO and various other Government agencies. The lag in acting upon the advice he received is astounding for the sheer hypocisy and arrogance for someone who continually tells us that his Governments actions are in the National Interest.

  7. hannah says:

    From the report:
    “There is widespread recognition that our water resources have been over allocated”.

    The significance and implications of this admission are mind boggling.
    Such irresponsible shortsighted greedy selfish stupidity!
    Its why I get so irritated on this issue.

    Will “we” learn?
    Want to put money on “yes” anyone?

  8. steve says:

    Exactly Hannah but how long have they known about all this? I was reading a very large ABARE report from 2002 last night that detailed all this stuff so I find it incredible that Howard will blame drought (an act of God) and offer up mass prayer as the solution to the problem.

    The Federal Government allowed Queensland tree clearing to go on on at massive unsustainable levels for years in the Murray Darling catchment and didn’t lift a finger to stop it. It has always supported Cubby Station and other big users of water to do what they want when they want with no thought for the future downstream.

    Unfortunately these attitudes have given the coalition almost every seat in Queensland for years and finally the balance of power in the senate at the last election. The chickens are now coming home to roost as the drought is one thing but deliberate footdragging to prop up rural support for the Government is more of a problem.

  9. B.S. Fairman says:

    Wasn’t some of the money from the first Telstra sale supposed to save the Murray-Darling forever after? Someone should start digging up quotes on that as well.

  10. steve says:

    Check out the nonsense coming from the Howard Government in 2002. Neither Quiggin or Gittens believed a word of what was to be done with the proceeds from the Telstra sale. It does prove that Howard and Minchin knew of the difficulties of the Murray Darling in that year.

  11. The Murray-Darling is still there.

    Its just there is not much water left in it.

    Sort of like in the days before the river was interfered with, when it used to run to the sea, & when there wasn’t rain, the river bed would become dry.

    Stopping the flow, to use the water for year-round irrigation & drinking is diametrically opposed to “Saving” the river, which would involve letting maximum amounts of water flow naturally (preferrably in surges) into the sea through the river mouth.

    Indeed, without the “Environmental Flows” which have been released to “save” the Murray, the current crisis may not be so immediate, or so severe.

  12. derrida derider says:

    Don’t go overboard people; Howard is just softening us up for a massive election-year handout to the bush. This year’s budget will be a doozy.

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