Saturday, 30 May 2009

Clarence Valley pours scorn on Nationals has-been over past water policy

The Daily Examiner, 30 May 2009
Click to enlarge

Hard on the heels of recent Clarence River flooding former Nationals MP for Page Ian Causley again raised the spectre of Clarence water diversion in a The Daily Examiner letter to the editor last Wednesday.

The response was swift and predictable - with a former Clarence Valley shire councillor accusing him of leaving a water policy legacy which is costing Australia "countless millions to clean up".

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

"Over my dead body" - a reminder of the water wars

Published in The Daily Examiner letters column on 27 May 2009:

It is on again.

Floods in the Clarence and droughts in the Murray bring out the ratbags.

On my walking and paddling trip down the Darling in 2007 I encountered a host of people, nearly everyone in fact, who wanted the Clarence River diverted inland.

In 2008 we had a Fellow of Engineers Australia advocating the same. Now in 2009 we have the Citizens Electoral Council issuing a press release about the desirability of the scheme and radio programs picking up on it.

We diverted the Snowy River inland destroying much of it, created severe salinity issues, took the sustainable dairying industries from the Northern Rivers to irrigated land in the Murray basin, created huge wealth for some and drove many Victorians to suicide when the grand ideas fell over.

After 5,000 kilometres of dragging and paddling a kayak, with decades of engineering experience in the water industry, I have been humbled. I came to realise that a river is much more than we were taught at university. The link between ground water and surface water is inextricable. The effect of taking any water out of a river can be profound.

But people don't seem to get it. They think that we can carry on with even more arrogance. Look at what has been destroyed already by our attitude and still we do not learn.

There is one thing the people of the Darling understood. "You can divert the Clarence over my dead body," l told them.

They didn't like it but they understood.

There are plenty of us who will fight for the river but be warned, the issue will never die. We just have to be ready - always.

Grafton resident 1952-1969

Author of Cry Me a River

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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Clarence River 2009 flooding brings forth those old dodgy claims

From North Coast Voices on Tuesday 26 May 2009.

When the first inklings appeared of a coming May 2009 flood event in the Clarence Valley one local warned me that such flooding would be used to raise the issue of further damming in the Clarence River catchment area.

Sure enough, yesterday climate change denialist Jennifer Marohasy opened her mouth and displayed a level of ignorance which quite frankly surprised:

It doesn’t matter what time of year you drive through this region, known as the Northern Rivers District, it is always green and the wide Clarence is always brimming with water.

Oh dear, let's ignore the fact that the Clarence River is salt from above Grafton right down to the river mouth, that it appears to brim with water because of a strong tidal influence, stay silent on the fact that there is a large dam on one of its principal freshwater tributaries and let's also conveniently forget that the Clarence Valley goes in and out of drought with the same regularity as the rest of the NSW North Coast.

I honestly don't have the patience to correct the many misconceptions on which
her post is based, so I'll just refer all to the blog A Clarence Valley Protest which was created during the last big John Howard - Malcolm Turnbull push to rob the Clarence catchment of its fresh water and, which includes political responses at local, state and federal level.

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