Give us the Basin facts

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Dear ed­i­tor, I have lis­tened to the CEO of the mighty MDBA, Mr Phillip Glyde, speak on ABC ra­dio to War­rick Long about the marvel­lous job they are un­der­tak­ing in the man­age­ment of the Mur­ray River in our lo­cal re­gion.

Does he think we are all stupid? He told us there was not much wa­ter in the sys­tem for this year, but for­tu­nately I have a daugh­ter who can read the MDBA web­site which in­forms us there is still 78 per cent in Dart­mouth, 80 per cent in Lake Vic­to­ria and 44 per cent in Hume which rep­re­sents nearly five mil­lion me­gal­itres of wa­ter!

Mr Glyde went on to in­form us we needed to make tough de­ci­sions about whether to plant a crop or not — it makes it so much eas­ier as a poor dumb farmer to be told we should stop what we are do­ing, put the crop back in the shed, sell our stock and pull our trees out.

We can agree on the one fact when he told us the poor farm­ers who have gen­eral se­cu­rity wa­ter al­lo­ca­tions on the NSW side of the Mur­ray are still on zero.

When asked why there was such a dif­fer­ence between the states of Vic­to­ria at 89 per cent, South Aus­tralia at 100 per cent while NSW was on zero, Mr Glyde did his best work to con­vince us poor farm­ers that this was the way the rain­wa­ter fell into the catch­ments. I am sure the wa­ter shar­ing plan says a lit­tle dif­fer­ent to that.

When asked why the MDBA was not be­ing more trans­par­ent he as­sured us it was a very com­plex mat­ter and de­pended on a lot of sce­nar­ios, was sub­ject to state wa­ter rules and the distri­bu­tion of a shared re­source, clearly too dif­fi­cult to work out for us poor farm­ers.

Un­for­tu­nately for you Mr Glyde, we can see the river is very full, so full in fact your peo­ple ap­pear to be tak­ing no no­tice of the nat­u­ral con­straints, which is a re­quire­ment of the same MDBA rules you keep be­rat­ing us about.

For nearly a month now you have been push­ing about 15,000 megs/day through the Yar­ra­wonga Weir and you have 10,300 megs/day try­ing to go through the Barmah Choke which has a max­i­mum limit of 8500 megs, so nearly 2000 megs/day are spilling into the for­est to wa­ter it for the fourth time this year.

Your river op­er­a­tion is killing the redgum trees, poi­son­ing fish, flood­ing peo­ple’s pri­vate land, drown­ing kan­ga­roos and koalas and so far this year the mis­man­age­ment of this vi­tal re­source has starved at least 50 brumbies to death in the Barmah For­est.

I saw them with my own eyes, and I feel for them, be­cause we are the same ‘‘col­lat­eral dam­age’’ merely in the way of the MDBA’s grand plans to fill the lower lakes with fresh wa­ter.

This dis­grace­ful eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ter is be­ing car­ried out by the MDBA un­der the guise of “en­vi­ron­men­tal flows” and is be­ing done to fill Lake Vic­to­ria, which is that full that 1500 megs/day are run­ning out the back of it and back into the Mur­ray and all the time there are at least three gates open at the Bar­rages run­ning this pre­cious com­mod­ity out into the sea.

The mis­man­age­ment of our wa­ter is a de­spi­ca­ble eco­nomic catas­tro­phe and will be­come a po­lit­i­cal em­bar­rass­ment. The whole con­cept was drafted on lies from South Aus­tralia and flawed sci­ence which has since been to­tally dis­cred­ited.

To ex­pect the good peo­ple up­stream of SA to be fi­nan­cially ru­ined is nei­ther right nor fair and it is about time we all stood up to­gether and marched in uni­son against this de­ba­cle that is the Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin Plan.

We have 750,000 hectares from Mul­wala to Moulamein lay­ing waste and baron and 1800 farm­ers with no in­come for the next 12 months.

The one thing we do know Mr Glyde — and some­thing that even us poor farm­ers can work out — is when we are not be­ing given the facts. Yours etc. Bart Doohan Fin­ley

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