Scomo in Cloncurry and the National Water Grid

At 6.15 Alan Jones was on the line to Scott Morrison in Cloncurry on the topic of water that is lost or wasted for want of dams and sensible allocation of water rights. Apparently the answer is a national water grid of dams and pipes. Public Servants were briefed yesterday to get on with the planning.

There is a massive class action under way against the Murray Darling Water Authority launched by farmers who are in big trouble caused by “environmental flows” to South Australia.

In NSW farmers are being driven to death by a Government agency that is prosecuting them for land clearing that violates rules brought in by conservative administrations to limit the supply of atmospheric plant food. Gladys will be asked some questions about this on radio 2GB today.

Alan Moran will probably keep us up to date with these developments.

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39 Responses to Scomo in Cloncurry and the National Water Grid

  1. Entropy

    The Flinders system of which Cloncurry is part could probably supply a couple (as in two, maybe three but I doubt it) of cubby-like operations, large enough to do without water for a few years running, to make good in the high flow years. Anything skater like with small horticultural producers would be doomed. The operation would have to operate in the knowledge of no water at all three out of ten, a bit two out of ten, a fair bit three out of ten, and too ‘effing much two out of ten.

  2. Bruce

    There was some poet wh0 wrote about “droughts and flooding rains”, sime time back.

    The ultimate limiting factor to the irrigation caper is the salinity problem.

    I wonder if the folks at “Cubbie” are keeping a close eye on that.

    Ii have friends who farm / graze along the Culgoa river, not that far from “Cubbie”. I’ve even been there many times and seen it in deep drought and when the river is in flood. Generally, the flood comes DOWN the river from rain that falls many Kilometres away to the north.

    Not far west of the river, the landscape changes from fertile black soil to rolling red sandhills. This is Australia, NOT Sydney or Melbourne.

    Australia is a VERY old and pretty worn-out piece of real-estate, especially in the middle.

    There are huge herds of tertiary educated types who could, or should, be able to work this out. That they cannot or WILL not raises a whole other issue. That a bunch of feral bureaucrats ensconced in the deep urban “hearts” lay claim to divine right to dictate the very lives of farmers in remote areas is another “issue”.

  3. Petros

    Didn’t Colonel Gaddafi do that?

  4. feelthebern

    There is a massive class action under way against the Murray Darling Water Authority launched by farmers who are in big trouble caused by “environmental flows” to South Australia.

    & the good news is during discovery, we’ll find out how many of these farmers:
    1) knowingly bought “dry” land &
    2) knowing sold their permanent high security water licences.

  5. Old School Conservative

    To Alan Jones’ credit, this issue of water security is something he has consistently advocated over many years of broadcasting.
    If only I could remember the source, I’d share the theory of an Australian who advocated the retention of rainfall on farming land through the use of man-made meandering creeks and reeds.
    A useful addition to a Bradfield-like system of dams and pipes.

    Could you just imagine the excitement generated by a ScoMo decision to implement Bradfield 2.0!!!!!

  6. Old School Conservative

    Bruce
    #3024023, posted on May 24, 2019 at 7:17 am
    There was some poet wh0 wrote about “droughts and flooding rains”, some time back.

    My federal electorate was named after her.

  7. Davefromweewaa

    Feelthebern,
    the main issue is the waste of water.
    The southern basin has had its productivity derated 25% for no environmental benefit whatsoever.
    What you get when you put “experts ” in charge.

  8. 132andBush

    the main issue is the waste of water.
    The southern basin has had its productivity derated 25% for no environmental benefit whatsoever.

    Yes.
    AKA keeping the Murray mouth flowing in the middle of a drought.

  9. None

    Yep South Australians are punishing Victorian farmers so they can have fresh water in an area which is naturally saline and so it can look pretty for their boats. FT

  10. None

    Stormwater water run off alone could probably Phil a couple of dams. It’s infrastructure. I’m also going to say that much as I’m a big fan of dams I am no fan of Central planning Morrison style. Canberra is wall to wall green left and the public sector is full of enough senior people who know how to kill a government’s agenda. Remember how they killed Work Choices.

  11. feelthebern

    Feelthebern,
    the main issue is the waste of water.
    The southern basin has had its productivity derated 25% for no environmental benefit whatsoever.
    What you get when you put “experts ” in charge.

    I don’t disagree.
    But you can’t be blind to the parties behind the class action.
    Follow the money.

  12. Val Majkus

    an on the spot report of what happened downstream after Cubbie https://youtu.be/rQpExPLFEB0

  13. Val Majkus

    If only I could remember the source, I’d share the theory of an Australian who advocated the retention of rainfall on farming land through the use of man-made meandering creeks and reeds.

    OSC think Peter Andrews is the name you’re looking for

  14. Val Majkus

    Ron Pike is a tireless advocate for a rethink on water conservation policy, here’s an article of his https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2018/10/drought-water-pain-plenty/ in which he advocates

    Immediately rescind the counter-productive and wasteful Murray-Darling Basin Plan and manage each valley as a separate entity embracing the actions below. All licenses to irrigate must be attached to land that can be irrigated and must be removed from speculators and government bureaucracies.
    Correct forever the hyper salinity in the Coorong using uni-directional pipes under the sand dunes from the sea. Similarly, flush Lake Albert using this method. This would negate the wastage of very large volumes of fresh water being unsuccessfully used to keep the Murray mouth open. The expensive dredging that has been ongoing for years would no longer be necessary.
    Build a lock and weir at Wellington, the real mouth of the Murray River, and return the lower lakes to an estuarine environment. These two actions would save over 3,000,000 MLs of fresh water annually and make it available for productive use.
    Make additional fresh water available to all potential users around the lower lakes and increase the guaranteed water supply in the multi-state agreement for South Australia to at least 2,200,000 MLs per year.
    Build the Lake Coolah-Stony Point storage in the Murrumbidgee Valley, increasing water availability to our food bowl by over 300,000 MLs per year.
    Build several weirs on the Darling River and two dams on tributaries of the Darling, ensuring that this previously ephemeral waterway has permanent fresh water.
    Build the Welcome Reef Dam on the Shoalhaven River for an annual yield of around 590,000 MLs, thus guaranteeing water for the greater Sydney area for the foreseeable future.
    Build both flood control and water conservation infrastructure on the Mitchell River, guaranteeing Melbourne’s water supply and saving recurring flood clean-up costs.
    Build the Upper Clarence Scheme as the first of many on the east Coast as a whole-of-valley exercise. This scheme would end destructive flooding, guarantee healthy river flow in all seasons, provide largely expanded irrigated agriculture in the Clarence valley, divert 1,200,000 MLs of extra water westwards into the Darling system and produce more cheap green hydro power that the Snowy Scheme.
    Implement the Burdekin Basin scheme (often referred to as the Bradfield Scheme) which would involve increasing the present Lake Dalrymple capacity to 8,700,000 MLs and the construction of two new dams, considerably increasing agricultural production and guaranteeing permanent water supply for growing cities like Townsville. This scheme would also be the heart for greening the vast fertile but dry plains of central Queensland added to from other sources in the future.
    Build a diversion dam on the Kiewa River to divert high flows into Hume Weir.
    Build the Gateway Dam on the Upper Murray that was to have been built as part of the Snowy Scheme.
    Build the Chowilla Dam on the Murray which would create one of the biggest areas of aquatic habitat and recreation areas in Australia. But importantly guarantee SA water availability in much greater volumes for the foreseeable future.
    Commence the development of the vast water resources of the Fitzroy River Basin in Western Australia, with the option of sending some of this water to the SW where there is a water shortage.
    Continue with whole-of-valley water management for most of our river valleys, thereby drought-proofing Australia forever.

  15. Barry

    States are responsible for water, just like they used to be for electricity.

    Foolishly, the Feds took over electricity at a national level and NEMMCO and eventually AEMO were formed.
    Like all organizations they veered left, and now we are where we are.

    The same thing will happen with water. We’ll have the AWMO (Australian Water Market Operator) which will enforce dire restrictions and generous seaflow through regulations. An ex-Desalination Plant Financing CEO will be appointed head of the AWMO, and predictable disaster will ensue. Politicians will deny responsibility as AWMO is an “independent” expert body.

    God help us if this is the best Morro can come up with as a priority.

  16. Rob MW

    Gladys will be asked some questions about this on radio 2GB today.

    Yes hopefully Gladys will get asked whether or not she understands what a restrictive covenant in *perpetuity* over a freehold title actually means and whether or not she thinks that it is fair and equitable that this in perpetuity restrictive covenant *MUST BE* 2 or 3 times the area of the proposed clearing area. From a Liberal/Nationals Gov’t this is more than shameful it’s downright Ned Kellyish.

    LAND MANAGEMENT (NATIVE VEGETATION) CODE 2018 – REG 13

    (4) A mandatory code compliant certificate which establishes a set aside area has effect in perpetuity.

    LAND MANAGEMENT (NATIVE VEGETATION) CODE 2018 – REG 88

    (i) for each unit area of land in the treatment area that does not contain vegetation that forms part of a vulnerable ecological community or an endangered ecological community, two unit areas must be established as a set aside area (2 unit areas set aside for each unit of non-TEC vegetation cleared), or

    (ii) for each unit area of land in the treatment area that contains vegetation that forms part of a vulnerable ecological community, three unit areas must be established as a set aside area (3 unit areas set aside for each unit of VEC vegetation cleared), or

    (iii) for each unit area of land in the treatment area that contains vegetation that forms part of an endangered ecological community, four unit areas must be established as a set aside area (4 unit areas set aside for each unit of EEC vegetation cleared),

  17. When I was at school in the 1970s we learned about a farming community in South Australia which had pushed too far out into a part of SA which was at that time experiencing out-of-the-norm rain, but which failed when normal rainfall returned and there was not enough to sustain a farming zone.
    I can’t for the life of me remember the name of that place. Anyone, any ideas?
    It was presented to us as a salutary lesson on how it was unwise to be too ambitious about the possibilities of farming in Australia’s centre.

  18. Rob MW

    Tony Tea
    #3024264, posted on May 24, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Tony. Everything you need to know about that.

  19. Old School Conservative

    Thank you Val.
    yes – Natural Farming Sequence, Peter Andrews.

  20. Adelagado

    The idea that cotton farms are not the cause of this mess is ridiculous. Anyone who denies it just hasn’t been out there.

  21. stackja

    Tony Tea
    #3024264, posted on May 24, 2019 at 11:45 am
    When I was at school in the 1970s we learned about a farming community in South Australia which had pushed too far out into a part of SA which was at that time experiencing out-of-the-norm rain, but which failed when normal rainfall returned and there was not enough to sustain a farming zone.
    I can’t for the life of me remember the name of that place. Anyone, any ideas?
    It was presented to us as a salutary lesson on how it was unwise to be too ambitious about the possibilities of farming in Australia’s centre.

    My quick answer is the ‘Goyder Line’.

  22. hzhousewife

    I voted for Rod Pike last lection but not enough other people did.

  23. zyconoclast

    What you get when you put “experts ” in charge.

    What you get when you put “experts ” traitors in charge.

  24. Davefromweewaa

    I’m not a cotton grower adelegado but I hate seeing ignorance pretending to be wisdom.
    I’d like to know what you are wearing today and who you think should go without what you take for granted?

  25. Scomo went to The Curry,
    It would have gone a lot better if he’d had the meeting in a pub.
    Heck, not one of the LNP meetings there has been in a pub.
    A clue to how his government will be – all their pre & post election meetings are in a communally owned not-for-profit subsidised commune that is competing with pubs.

    Sorta like the Qld Liberals & Nationals all through the 90’s & 00’s
    Gets hard to vote for them when they don’t even pretend to support small business.

  26. 132andBush

    The idea that cotton farms are not the cause of this mess is ridiculous. Anyone who denies it just hasn’t been out there.

    Rubbish.
    Check out how much water it would take to grow the nations cotton crop if every ha is planted then check the evaporation stats for the lower lakes.

  27. Tony Tea

    Thanks Ron abnd Stack.

  28. Pickles

    Just build a few dams. Doesn’t matter where so long has we have diesel dust n dynamite. ScoMo on the joystick of a big Cat then on an old plunger blowing up a mountain. Good optics and noise.

  29. calli

    Oh, Pickles! I would pay folding money to watch that.

    And he needs to raise his hands and offer a prayer beforehand.

    Funeral parlours would be overwhelmed with customers sans heads. (But tink o da viroment – shorter coffins).

  30. Entropy

    Val Majkus
    #3024130, posted on May 24, 2019 at 9:08 am
    an on the spot report of what happened downstream after Cubbie https://youtu.be/rQpExPLFEB0

    This woman’s feelz are wrong. Only about ten percent of cubbie water comes out of the Culgoa. It can only extract water when the Culgoa is in full flood. If she has lack of water, so does Cubbie, and it in fact cannot pump form the Culgoa.
    The bulk of water grabbed by cubbie is overland flow, south of the Culgoa. The overland flow is destined for the narran lakes, not Culgoa and the MDB. The Narran Lakes producers might have a complaint, the lakes might be marginally lower in a particular flood event than without they might have been without cubbie, but truth to tell the Narran Lakes are terminal lakes, and the cotton production from Cubbie is worth an order of magnitude over what could be earned from a couple of Graziers capitalising in a bit of green in late winter/ early spring.

  31. Pyrmonter

    Two questions:

    1 – who exactly is to pay for this ‘National Water Grid’? I ask, because the historical practice has been that industry, including irrigated horticulture, hasn’t.

    2 – has the outlay on the Lake Argyle been recovered yet? A prudent approach would be to wait until it has been, it being our last ‘grand plan’ to ‘harvest’ ‘wasted’ water.

    For background: https://economics.org.au/2011/08/cold-water-on-government-instigated-irrigation-schemes/ and https://economics.org.au/2012/07/hooray-for-northern-development/

  32. Entropy

    Pyrmonter:
    1. Does the term “agrarian socialism” explain it to you? Although, the proponents usually use the term “nation building”
    2: short answer, no. At least not directly. That said, there is a hell of a lot of tourism that might not happen without it that would not be counted if you were thinking irrigation alone, and I also think developing northern Australia needs a boost. So much so that I would be quite in favour of a northern Australia succession, because the Melbourne-Sydney-Canberra triangle doesn’t give a toss.

  33. I’m happy for a private company to put up a proposal, attract domestic and international investment (Chinese OK), build and operate it and sell shares that we could buy.

    Otherwise it will be no different to the existing global warming scam.

    Incentives matter.

  34. Tel

    What’s wrong with each pipe and dam being owned and operated privately and separately?

    Why this fetish for central planning?!?

    Seems to me that the water “authorities” are the cause of most of our problems. Chuck em and allow regular property rights and contract law to take effect.

  35. Hasbeen

    A water grid is extremely dangerous to rural Oz & it’s farmers.

    When after years of no dam building & drought Peter Bettie’s Brisbane was running out of water, Bettie went after any water he could buy, borrow, or straight out steal from, anyone. Get a water grid built, & watch out for a Labor government & a drought.

    In panic Bettie built a 6.8 Billion water grid to bring country water to Brisbane. As secretary of the lower Albert river irrigation committee I was on the Logan & Albert WAMP, [water management plan]. We had monthly meetings with huge numbers of bureaucrats from Brisbane, parking out the town of Beaudesert with their government cars. They had dozens of plans to help us, by relieving us of any water we had, to pump to Brisbane. They never could understand why we were not very grateful for all this help.

    This went on for many months, getting less friendly by the meeting, until it rained. With water in Wivenhoe Betties minions suddenly lost interest in helping us, & we haven’t seen hide nor hair of them for a decade or more.

    A little later the Gold Coast council raised their, [now stolen] Hinze dam wall 15 metres to significantly increase their water capacity. Just when this work was completed heavy rains caused major releases of water from Wivenhoe dam. The Gold Coast suggested that instead of releasing water, they send it down the multi billion grid, to fill the new storage.

    It was only then everyone found what a miserable clown Bettie really was. You see the grid was built to appease Brisbane voters. It was not capable of transferring any water to the Gold Coast, only from the Gold Coast to Brisbane.

    So beware of anyone from the government who wants to help you with your water.

    Again country folk, be very careful about being connected to any water grid. Any such connection will only be to pinch your water, not supply you.

  36. Jonesy

    I can only see a way out for enticing private investment in all things rural if there is wholesale rewriting of the tax regime. Every creation of wealth means realising the taxable income in the year it is made. In agriculture, three to five years in ten can be total environment induced losses. For agriculture to be a desirable investment would mean incentives created to park money in the industry in times of famine and hold feast time money over a longer period without being classified as a taxable income. Basically, why spend bigon equipment after a bumper crop so you do not pay tax only to find two years down the track a drought hits for the next three seasons causes you to fall out of the industry, resulting in the banks taking everything or forcing selling out to willing foreign buyers with century length investment outlooks.

  37. Jonesy

    This is the downfall of Cubbie, no water, no crops a bank getting the jitters. Rain fills the dams, too late! The bank will not give the corporation the needed seasonal time to trade their way out of trouble using the, at least, six seasons worth of water and forces the sale of AN AUSTRALIAN WHOLELY OWNED AGRIBUSINESS to a combined Chinese/Japenese foreign company who are happy to reap the rewards of infrastructure paid for by an Australian business. Short sighted investment kills agribusiness every time. Togo station near .Moree is another example of an Australian insurance/superannuation company bailing out of a huge business because of short term outlooks.

  38. Tel:

    Why this fetish for central planning?!?

    Seems to me that the water “authorities” are the cause of most of our problems. Chuck em and allow regular property rights and contract law to take effect.

    Eggzakkerly.
    Government is part of the problem, not the solution.
    If Brisbane were to go to level 5 water restrictions, Pony Girl would take all the water from the agricultural areas to make up for her refusal to build dams. Cost be damned – they won’t build, and they won’t decide.

    (Winston has his cranky hat on today.)

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