Give us the Basin facts
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