Clarence Valley - a pattern card for good water management and climate change outcomes
Protecting the Clarence River and its tributaries. http://aclarencevalleyprotest.blogspot.com/
'JOHN Howard has held a private meeting with the most senior leaders of the Exclusive Brethren, including a man under investigation by police over his massive spending on the Prime Minister's 2004 election campaign.
In his parliamentary office two weeks ago, Mr Howard met Sydney pump salesman Mark Mackenzie, whose former company, Willmac, funnelled $370,000 into pro-Howard advertising at the last election.
Willmac's spending was later investigated by the Australian Electoral Commission's disclosure arm, and then referred to the Australian Federal Police for a criminal investigation, which is continuing.
Also at the August 8 meeting were the secretive sect's world leader, or "Elect Vessel", Bruce D. Hales, his brother Stephen and elder Warwick John.
A Brethren spokesman confirmed to The Age yesterday that the meeting had taken place, but emphatically denied they had asked for Mr Howard's help on the police investigation or offered him support for his campaign against Maxine McKew in Bennelong.
Mr Howard's office said only that he had met members of the Brethren, as he did with a "wide range of groups", and would "continue to do so".' [www.the.age.com.au,"Brethren meet PM in his office",22 August 2007]
For full story see:
Labels: election '07
"Quarterly Essay Issue 26
His Master's Voice
The Corruption of Public Debate under Howard
John Howard has the loudest voice in Australia. He has cowed his critics, muffled the press, intimidated the ABC, gagged scientists, silenced NGOs, censored the arts, prosecuted leakers, criminalised protest and curtailed parliamentary scrutiny.
Though touted as a contest of values, this has been a party-political assault on Australia's liberal culture. In the name of "balance" the Liberal Party has muscled its way into the intellectual life of the country.
And this has happened because we let it happen. Once again, Howard has shown his superb grasp of Australia as it really is. In His Master's Voice, David Marr investigates both a decade of suppression and the strange willingness of Australians to watch, with such little angst, their liberties drift away."
Labels: election '07
It seems that the Dept of the Environment and Water Resources just can't help uttering deceitful words in an effort to do the bidding of Malcolm Turnbull and his prime ministerial master.
Despite Northern Rivers communities making their opposition known with good reasons and despite both the NSW and Qld governments firmly rejecting the SMEC water diversion proposals, Messrs. Howard and Turnbull arrogantly push ahead with their plan to raid north east NSW water to benefit bulk water users such as major irrigators and international mining companies.
All this just so the Howard Government can put off the day when it has to genuinely face the fact of climate change and a drying southern half of Australia and, act in the national interest instead of the interests of its political supporters.
The following letter was recently sent to me:
Ms Joyce Sarahs
TYALGUM NSW 2484
Dear Ms Sarahs
Thank you for your letter of 20 May 2007 to the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, concerning the SMEC Report on possible dam sites in northern NSW. Mr Turnbull has asked me to respond on his behalf. I apologise for the delay in my response.
The proposal to construct a dam on the
Oxley Riverwas considered as part of a recent study initiated by the National Water Commission to evaluate possible approaches to meeting future water demands of southeast Queenslandand northeast New South Wales, including moving water from rivers in northern . The population of this part of New South Wales is growing rapidly and it is important that governments consider all the available options for ensuring a secure and safe water supply. Australia
The "desk top" review undertaken for the National Water Commission was required to identify options for sourcing water whilst remaining within the sustainable yield of catchments and without detrimentally affecting the current and future users in
. The review recommended five options for further investigation. Four of the five options are based on storage and transfer from the New South Wales Clarence Riverwhilst the fifth (and cheapest) is based on storage and transfer from the catchment. Tweed River
The study report recognised that the preferred options could be expected to have significant potential environmental impact and emphasised that all options proposed required further detailed environmental and social assessment in line with New South Wales Government laws, regulations and policies.
The National Water Commission is currently developing terms of reference for the next phase of work which it is proposed be undertaken in conjunction with the New South Wales Government, the Queensland Government and the Northern Rivers Regional Organisation of Councils. This work would consider whether other options may exist that were not considered in the SMEC Report, undertake more detailed assessments of dam sites and pipeline routes, undertake more detailed environmental, social and cost benefit assessment of options and complete water planning of relevant catchments to determine sustainable yields.
This phase would also develop and implement a community consultation and communication process to provide information on proposed options and enable the community to contribute to the debate.
The Australian Government is also exploring other options for addressing the likely increased demand for water in the south east region of
. For example, in April 2007 the Australian Government announced a contribution of $408 million to the $1.7 billion Western Corridor Recycled Water Project in south east Queensland . This project involves the construction of pipelines to enable the transfer of purified recycled water from advanced wastewater treatment plants in Queensland Brisbaneand Ipswichto end users. When completed, the project will have the potential to produce over 250 megalitres a day of potable water supply with purified recycled water for drinking water supply, industrial and possibly agricultural purposes.
Your views have been noted by the Minister on the environmental impacts associated with the
option. Thank you for your letter. Oxley River
Water Services Branch
12 July 2007
"Based on current data, the options to dam the Clarence River or Tooloom Creek are highly unlikely to provide reliable supplies of water for export to south east Queensland during periods of drought. In critical months, such as November, when demand for extraction is greatest, flows are reduced to a point where they would not adequately fill the proposed storages.[Koperberg,P,letter to JM Melville,dated 24 July 2007]
I am advised that the minimum flow estimates used to prepare the latest Australian Government report are based on information that is not current and, in fact, overestimates the percentile flows in the listed areas. The results were that the inter-basin proposals are feasible, but very expensive and that there are significant environmental issues. This is not different from the 1981 study.
Further, as you would be aware, the next 25 years will see the north eastern part of NSW undergo rapid growth with water security a key issue to be considered. Also, it is anticipated that augmentation of water supplies may be necessary to meet the expanded population needs for the next 50 years.
The NSW Government is adamant that the social and environmental needs of our State should take priority over any proposed interstate water transfers."