Thursday, 14 October 2010

Tony Windsor demonstrates a dangerous parochialism in water debate

Federal Independent MP for New England Tony Windsor has apparently threatened to push for alternatives to mass water buybacks, including redirecting water into the struggling Murray according to The Australian today.

Mr Windsor said that if the Murray-Darling Basin Authority was going to use climate change as part of its justification to take 3000-4000 gigalitres of water from irrigators, it could look at diverting water into the basin from areas of higher rainfall elsewhere...........
Mr Windsor said he would conduct an objective valley-by-valley analysis of where the authority's recommended cuts to water allocation could be tolerated. He said that where the risk of a significant socio-economic fallout was high, "there may be other strategies to fixing this not identified by the authority". He said "the political process" would examine these and other issues in the coming months.
Mr Windsor said the MDBA should not allow water to be taken away from irrigators on account of climate change, because they were not responsible for the problem.

Mr. Windsor does not elaborate on where any potential water diversion would originate except to vaguely point in the direction of far north Queensland.

However, as the Clarence River began to be mentioned within days of the release of the Murray Darling Basin Authority's draft basin plan, on has to suspect that the fate of this NSW coastal river is once more being discussed by politicians and interested parties who are still unwilling or unable to understand that wrecking one catchment area to apply what is little more than a band-aid to the Murray-Darling catchment is not an environmentally or economically sustainable response.

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