Tag Archives: water rights

Green-Labor Abuse “Science” On Water

14 Feb

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 14 February 2012:

Murray-Darling Plan must be based on best available science not out of date data

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is relying on out of date data for its recommendations to take 2,750 gigalitres from productive use in the Murray-Darling Basin, said Senator Barnaby Joyce today.

“We are borrowing billions from overseas to buy water, which could put towns out of production, in the middle of a flood period. There must be something slightly incongruous about this, which at the very least requires the updating of models with easily accessible current information.

“It was revealed at Senate estimates today that the MDBA has calculated the average inflows into the Murray-Darling by taking a simple average from 114 years of data, from 1895 to 2009.

“There are lies, damn lies and statistics, or so said Disraeli, but it seems convenient that the dataset used to calibrate water in the Murray-Darling Basin begins and ends with Australia’s two biggest recorded droughts. The federation drought conveniently becomes one bookend of the statistics, and the recent millennium drought becomes the other. The other side of these two periods are some of the wettest times in Australia’s history, the one we are living through now and the one that included the 1891 floods.

“At least the figures should be current and include the most recent figures, as I continually hear this discussion about current changes to climate. The data must surely include the current rain events that have flooded my local town three times in the last two years, which we have all no doubt seen on the news.

“We are going to spend over $100 million just developing the Basin Plan which is not even based on up to date information.

“The government must update the figures.”

14 February 2012

More information:

Matthew Canavan – 0458 709 433

Barnaby: We Must Realise Water Is Wealth

20 May

A must-read article by Senator Barnaby Joyce.

From the Canberra Times (emphasis added):

Canberra, as I have stated before, is an example of an effective policy of regional development.

What makes it possible relies on many ingredients, two of the most important being employment and water. Canberra has an obvious source of jobs and the third longest river in the Murray-Darling basin, the Murrumbidgee. This makes possible Canberra’s ability to invest in an 87GL dam on the Cotter River.

Recently I visited the Gulf in Northern Queensland. This area provides immense opportunity for further development in our agricultural sector. Georgetown sees at least 4000GL go down the Gilbert River every year. The people of Hughendon and Richmond have access to about 2000GL – of which about 5 per cent is currently used. These flows meander down through vast tracts of deep, self-mulching loams with immense food producing capacity.

At the moment there are no large storages to harness this water and use it to produce more food. That is not the fault of the locals, many of whom want to encourage economic development and build the infrastructure to do so.

People like Fred Pascoe, mayor of Carpentaria Shire and head of the Gulf Savannah Development Corporation. He sees that the only way for his fellow indigenous people to get ahead is to have access to the jobs and opportunities that other Australians take for granted. I wish people would speak to Mr Pascoe before they start making decisions about his life and his people.

What Australia has lacked is the vision to develop our water resources for the benefit of the people who live here, for the benefit of our nation as a whole and for the benefit of those who are hungry all over the world.

Instead, what Australia has been doing of late is to take Australia out of the agricultural market by locking up wild rivers, imposing inflexible native vegetation laws and providing tax concessions to plant forests where there used to be livestock and crops. Very handy if we are going to evolve into a higher form of termite but not much use if we want to prevent Australia from becoming a net importer of food.

Just the other night I heard from a farmer in northern NSW who wanted to install a more efficient irrigation system. To do so he would have to clear a grand total of 42 trees. The Government said yes as long as he bought the adjoining property and planted nearly a million trees on it. He has not taken up the offer.

The result is that in 1980 Australia had 496 million hectares of farming land. In 2010 we have 399 million hectares. In 1980 we had roughly 136 million sheep. In 2010 we have 68 million sheep.

What this shows is that in a world where the population is getting bigger we are either producing less or staying stagnant. We are getting more proficient but we are not producing more.

It is no wonder because we are not investing in the capital to do so.

We have not built a major dam for over 20 years. In 1980 we could store in dams about 4.5ML per person. Now the figure is just over 3.5ML. By 2050, if we don’t build any more dams, it will be below 2.5ML per person.

That is why the Coalition will build more dams. The Coalition’s dams task group, that I am the deputy chairman of, is the first step in that process.

Water is wealth and dams make hungry people happy. We should realise that domestic environmental policies have a real effect on real people beyond our nation’s borders. We also should have a quiet little wake-up call to ourselves that we are importing more and more of our food, predominantly from South-East Asia.

I always thought that we would be feeding South-East Asia not being fed by South-East Asia.

When you make the conscious choice for Australia to eat somebody else’s food you are implicitly endorsing their environmental practices: strip fishing, clearing of jungles and rainforests, endorsement of sweatshop labour as a preference to Australian awards. That is your choice.

I would prefer that we have a clean, green agricultural sector in Australia but to do so we have to make the investments which allow it to grow alongside our population.

For all those “green” cargo cult members who oppose building more dams, whilst at the same time crying poor on behalf of poverty-stricken nations abroad, please consider the following news story from AAP:

Nepal faces malnutrition crisis as UN scales back

The United Nations is to stop distributing food to nearly a million people in remote western Nepal because of funding shortfalls, threatening a major health crisis, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries, with more than half the population living on less than $1.25 a day. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says 41 percent of Nepalese people are estimated to be undernourished.

But the WFP says it does not have enough funds to continue flying supplies by helicopter to western Nepal, where road access is patchy and around a million people rely on UN food aid.

More dams, means more food.

More food, means cheaper food.

For more human beings.

Barnaby is right.

Wong Wastes Water Money

31 Mar

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 30 March 2010:

Reports in the Australian Financial Review today confirm that Penny Wong is presiding over a water buy back scheme that is frittering away money. Senator Joyce said “reports suggesting that Penny Wong has overpaid to the tune of $40 million and that some water sellers are getting special deals fuel the confusion and uncertainty surrounding Senator Wong’s plan for the Basin. Who expects irrigators to invest in water-saving technology in this climate of confusion?”

Senator Joyce spoke yesterday to a number of irrigators and farmers. These initial discussions have confirmed reports in the media today. The Government is not providing sufficient feedback on the status of some farmer’s tenders. As the Productivity Commission reported last year, Senator Wong’s scheme has also failed to recognize the effects on local communities of farms closing down. Senator Joyce will be travelling along the Basin over the next few weeks to get first-hand experience of these impacts.

Senator Joyce reiterated that he has no problems with the buying of water, or moving towards to a nationally coordinated use of water from the Murray-Darling Basin. “We need a water policy that provides jobs in regional areas, guarantees food security for all Australians and protects the environment. Current policy appears to ignore this triple-bottom line approach,” Senator Joyce said.

More Information- Jenny Swan 0746 251500

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