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Views Read Edit View history. The airlines are cutting back on services to inland Queensland and the Northern Territory. The vast Fitzroy River Basin is an interesting case study regarding water. This huge catchment always receives rain somewhere, quite often as random thunderstorms, and can be viewed as acting something like a giant sponge. We have had several dry months at Rockhampton, but the Fitzroy River always flows strongly and flight over the near town district shows maybe or more near full billabongs, dams, etcetera.
The whole catchment system presently seems pretty much in balance as a major river flood level event in April had insignificant disruptive effects on the community. Federal and State politicians are also proposing to build an upstream weir at Rookwood on the Fitzroy River for prospective irrigation farming potential and to provide more water security for Rockhampton.
The political realm seems more inclined toward benefiting large corporate farming interests so there is unlikely to be any appreciable benefits emerge for the district rural fraternity. The existing river barrage at Rockhampton separating the tidal salt water and freshwater flows dams adequate water reserves to sustain the community for the foreseeable future. What is of greater concern is how an upstream Rookwood Weir will affect the broader hydrology of the river basin system and this project arguably falls into an LNP ideological bundle, conceived without adequate scientific research.
Water storage projects initiated for political purposes without sound scientific justification will only add to some ill-managed schemes. And who might own or control envisaged water resource assets? Post-WW2, Australia had a strong savings ethic for a time; but subsequently, the false notion was peddled by governments that we needed foreign investment for national development.
Ultimately, Australian properties, business enterprises and residential dwellings were allowed to be purchased by non-residents and the funds for acquisition may of course have been borrowed, either offshore or locally. Then; Prime Minister Paul Keating introduced compulsory superannuation by diktat instead of a nationally based scheme a la the Singapore model, which is principally oriented toward national development goals.
The floodgates were opened for predator capitalism with our national savings even being exploited offshore. Converting the Future Fund to an optional superannuation investment fund for national development purposes could see a huge drain of funds away from institutions including the banks that are simply exploiting national savings.
We have virtually unfettered population growth importing people with low English language skills who are principally economic immigrants and are forced to vote, although having no appreciation of or interest in Australian politics; just one disadvantage of a flawed electoral system.
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The politicians also act primarily in response to lobbyists for the rich and powerful so the electoral process has become increasingly farcical. The questions arise what do we want Australia to be and has national integrity diminished beyond the point of no return? In my view, we have always had unrealistic expectations of our national potential instead of having more modest goals.
Trying to grow the nation too far and too fast has been hugely damaging and capitalistic greed has overridden all sensible foresight. The tourism industry in Queensland is replete with overly-ambitious ventures. Yet, a Rockhampton real estater has just rounded up a Taiwanese investor whom the Queensland Government has permitted to buy a failed resort on Great Keppel Island with intent to turn it into an inappropriate 6 Star venue.
Our governments just do not seem able to grasp the degree to which Australia is handicapped by the tyranny of distance. A beaut article Ron; but we must first fix our broken political system before any reasonable headway can be made in other respects. Alas; veiled corruption among some high profile politicians regarding water dealings was revealed just a few years back. Sign me up for the newsletter! Remember me Login.
Lost your password? Sign In. Doomed Planet. Australia is short of water. Dams destroy rivers and there are no remaining sites to build new ones. In , when government surveyor George William Evans was on his second trip to the west, he noted in his journal: Rivers such as these no man has ever seen before. We then must implement the following agenda as a matter of urgency.
Immediately rescind the counter-productive and wasteful Murray-Darling Basin Plan and manage each valley as a separate entity embracing the actions below. All licenses to irrigate must be attached to land that can be irrigated and must be removed from speculators and government bureaucracies. Correct forever the hyper salinity in the Coorong using uni-directional pipes under the sand dunes from the sea. Similarly, flush Lake Albert using this method. This would negate the wastage of very large volumes of fresh water being unsuccessfully used to keep the Murray mouth open.
The expensive dredging that has been ongoing for years would no longer be necessary. Build a lock and weir at Wellington, the real mouth of the Murray River, and return the lower lakes to an estuarine environment. These two actions would save over 3,, MLs of fresh water annually and make it available for productive use. Make additional fresh water available to all potential users around the lower lakes and increase the guaranteed water supply in the multi-state agreement for South Australia to at least 2,, MLs per year.
Build several weirs on the Darling River and two dams on tributaries of the Darling, ensuring that this previously ephemeral waterway has permanent fresh water. Build the Welcome Reef Dam on the Shoalhaven River for an annual yield of around , MLs, thus guaranteeing water for the greater Sydney area for the foreseeable future. Build the Upper Clarence Scheme as the first of many on the east Coast as a whole-of-valley exercise. This scheme would end destructive flooding, guarantee healthy river flow in all seasons, provide largely expanded irrigated agriculture in the Clarence valley, divert 1,, MLs of extra water westwards into the Darling system and produce more cheap green hydro power that the Snowy Scheme.
Implement the Burdekin Basin scheme often referred to as the Bradfield Scheme which would involve increasing the present Lake Dalrymple capacity to 8,, MLs and the construction of two new dams, considerably increasing agricultural production and guaranteeing permanent water supply for growing cities like Townsville. This scheme would also be the heart for greening the vast fertile but dry plains of central Queensland added to from other sources in the future. Build a diversion dam on the Kiewa River to divert high flows into Hume Weir. Build the Chowilla Dam on the Murray which would create one of the biggest areas of aquatic habitat and recreation areas in Australia.
But importantly guarantee SA water availability in much greater volumes for the foreseeable future. Commence the development of the vast water resources of the Fitzroy River Basin in Western Australia, with the option of sending some of this water to the SW where there is a water shortage.