“Watergate” conspiracies and the truth about the Murray

I have this piece in the Spectator on-line.

The Murray Darling River is facing a plethora of publicity.  Issues have included fish deaths due to mismanagement of flows by the responsible body, farmer agitation as a result of loss of irrigation water, claims that the water buy-backs behind the farmer concerns have been at excessive prices and, implausibly, corruptly made, and a report by the “Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists” with the usual claims of environmental distress.   Evidence of such distress is never presented.

We have seen a 40 year developing saga.  First the green misanthropists claimed we needed to cut back on agriculture because it was causing salinity, which would, so they said, kill off farming as well as natural flora. Then came global warming with absurd claims that the water would never return, a prediction propagated by the usual crowd of doomsayers including Garnaut and Flannery. But here is the trendless picture.

All the while the support for cutting down on agricultural use of water was supported by people at the Murray mouth abetted by the green left who, unapologetically, promoted a conversion of the naturally salty lakes into permanently fresh water.  The outcome has been a 20 per cent derating of the agricultural province that is responsible for over 40 per cent of the national farming output and an impoverishment of many of the Basin’s producers.

We need to stop listening to radical environmental activists posing as scientists and the politicians who nurture them to restore the Murray Darling cuts in irrigator water allocations.  But will we?  As with mining, the emotive heart tugs of the doomsters strikes cords among urban voters that would seem to foreshadow no relief for the people who live in the Murray Darling Basin and on-going denial to potential levels of national income.


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31 Responses to “Watergate” conspiracies and the truth about the Murray

  1. stackja

    Urban voters want to starve?

  2. Fang

    Mr ScoMo!
    Please take at least a leaf out of Kennedy and Fords play book in Canada provinces, and speak what the real people want done? You have absolutely nothing to loose!

  3. Muddy

    stop listening to radical environmental activists

    This will never happen until we cease giving them metaphorical hand-jobs by continuing to use their preferred label of ‘activists.’ This label implies an erroneous connection with the popular activism of the 60s and 70s, which history and popular culture has recorded as bringing ‘darkness to light’ on topics such as nuclear war, feminism, colonialism etc. We might debate whether that period deserves such a reputation, however the issue is that today’s economic saboteurs and cultural insurgents aim to destroy, rather then create or improve. These issues are tools for a new breed of sociopaths to gain a sense of self-worth.

    Nothing will change until we start taking control of the language we use, and, at the very least, stop complimenting those who wish to knee-cap our quality of life, by using their own propaganda. It really isn’t that difficult.

    Find an alternative for ‘activist’ you are happy to use, and use it.

  4. What ancient and well understood, yet underutilised technology could possibly help to ameliorate the variability of rainfall?

    It’s almost as if there a few places left for this technology to be deployed, like Murray Gorge, Devil Grip Gorge, Needles Gap, Cranky Rock, Mitchell River, Fitzroy River…

  5. Davefromweewaa

    Well done for reminding us that salinity was the big bogeyman in the late 20th century Alan. The Murray should have been too salty for drinking by now, if Peter Garrett was right!
    We really need to attack the misguided and misanthropic mischief makers hard. Let the public know that they don’t own the moral high ground.

  6. Roger

    The outcome has been a 20 per cent derating of the agricultural province that is responsible for over 40 per cent of the national farming output and an impoverishment of many of the Basin’s producers.

    Just wait until the Paris targets hit agriculture.

  7. John Constantine

    Half Australia’s livestock have to go.

    We have a signed unswerving commitment to the transnational looting cartels deindustrialisation of racist colonialist oppression agriculture.

    We can feed all Big Australia from medicated algae sludge rations, brewed up in vats down at Waleed’s sewerage rebirthing plant.


  8. John Constantine

    Their clearances of the free folk of the Murray darling basin irrigation district and the stripping and redistribution of their voting rights and electorates to mass imported voteherds in urban welfare plantations is a great victory for the left.


  9. Botswana O'Hooligan

    The graph depicts Mackellar’s “of droughts and flooding rains” beautifully.

  10. The Australian is the only newspaper were truth sometimes sees the light of day but they also have socialist columnists such as PVO that lie to promote the socialist agenda. PVO writes in the Australian that conservatives are divided because most believe in so-called climate change when actually it is a small group of progressives that Turnbull led and spread lies. Getting rid of these progressives who are global socialists is what is needed to get some sense into the democratic side of politics and bring Australia back to the state at Federation (1901) when the country had the highest standard of living as defined by GNP/capita. The states should do all taxation and the senate should be a states house without political parties.

  11. BoyfromTottenham

    Alan, it is not just the ‘radical environmental activists…’ who are responsible for this eco-political nightmare. Over the past couple of decades the Australian government has signed up to several international agreements (RAMSAR, etc.) which play into this nonsense by ‘requiring’ our governments to ensure a supply of fresh water to huge areas of wetlands that were previously perfectly well supplied solely by natural rainfall. In a continent as dry as Australia, where a large proportion of our broad-acre farming is in marginal and semi-arid areas, diverting any of our scarce rainfall away from agriculture and drinking water use to simply evaporate in ephemeral ‘wetlands’ is madness, and those responsible for supporting it deserve to be pilloried. And by the way, these same international agreements also serve to supply those same ‘radical environmentalists’ with a rich list of claimed ‘endangered species’ of wildlife with which to harrass many planned economic developments that underpin our economic future. A double whammy for Australia!

  12. BoyfromTottenham

    cementafriend – thanks for another of your concrete proposals!

  13. Boambee John

    Muddy at 0956

    Find an alternative for ‘activist’ you are happy to use, and use it.


  14. Australia could be a cornucopia with thousands more minor dams and lakes, hundreds more major dams and reservoirs with irrigation canals, tunnels and ditches cross crossing the land, with year round irrigation virtually everywhere and all but the very worst floods mitigated into non-events.

    We could support a large and prosperous inland producing vastly more food, fibre and minerals (along with major tourism assets) and energy than what is produced now.

    With fully utilising our resources and engaging in nuclear power, the idea of a water shortage will seem like something from the “dark ages”.

  15. Mark M

    Build the coal mines, and the rains will come, says the ‘science’ …

    Coal miners to blame for Queensland floods, says Australian Greens leader Bob Brown


  16. BoyfromTottenham

    Frank W – I totally agree. Look at what the Israelis have achieved in agriculture – for them it was life and death. Maybe what we need is someone like Nigel Farage in politics here.
    This is an amazing article about Brexit and Nigel’s part in it – well worth a read, and good for a few laughs:

  17. Mark M

    Lake Eyre could get to its fullest since 1974 but Murray-Darling Basin is missing out

    “The cold front that brought the earliest snow on record for Western Australia on Good Friday, has helped trigger widespread heavy rainfall for drought-stricken western Queensland and north-west New South Wales in recent days.”


    Thank you, coal miners!

    Thank you, CO2!

  18. I thought Lake Eyre filling up usually preceded a wet cycle for the MDB?

  19. rayvic

    “The people of the Murray Mouth” should acknowledge that tidal saltwater environmental flows travelled at least eighty kms up river. Those flows should be restored in the national interest by removing the barriers across the Mouth, and paying resettlement adjustment assistance to the few graziers who rely on the artificial freshwater lakes.
    “We need to stop listening to radical environmental activists posing as scientists and the politicians who nurture them to restore the Murray Darling cuts in irrigator water allocations.” Thóse politicians included Malcolm Tủrnbull and Tony Burke, both òf whom failed to appreciate the meaning òf national interest.

  20. Tel

    Environmentalists should be running private charities, if they want to take donations and buy water rights at market rates, to tip into the ocean they are welcome to do so.

    The first thing ScoMo should do it stop any government money for water buybacks. If anyone complains, say that the ABC suggested the practice might be corrupt, so he put a stop to it … end of story.

  21. Helen

    The graph of rainfall of the ‘Murray-Darling Basin’ is fairly meaningless, given the size of the basin and the geographically distant water sources of the tributaries of the Murray and the Darling. You might as well produce a single graph showing annual rainfall of Australia.

    There can be no rain in the Darling headwaters in Queensland, resulting in a dry Darling, and simultaneously good or adequate rain in the headwaters of the Murray, in the mountains of southern NSW and Victoria, resulting in a flowing Murray. This is the current situation. There can be good rain in the lower Murray and Darling leading to less need for river water, or very low rain in the south, even when the Murray is flowing, leading to a high dependence on river. The latter is also the situation at the moment.

    So to properly understand the affect of long-term trends, rainfall has to be graphed regionally and assessed in terms of rain that lowers local river dependence v. rain that flows downstream to provide water for areas in drought.

    By the way, few people here believe the Bureau of Meteorology on temperature, so why accept a simplistic graph of rainfall on face value.

  22. Val Majkus

    Prof John Briscoe is also illuminating about the Water Act

    Because constitutional amendments are not simple, and definitely cannot be done over a weekend before an election, the authors of the Water Act 2007 had to find legal cover for usurping state powers. An alert and enterprising environmental lawyer found the fig-leaf, which was the Ramsar Convention, which the Commonwealth Government had signed, committing itself to protecting wetlands which are critical for migratory birds. To avoid a constitutional crisis, the Commonwealth had to build the Water Act around this fig leaf. So the Act became an environmental act, which was all it really could be, since it was in the name of the commonwealth’s obligations to an obscure international environmental convention that it was taking powers from the states. And so the fundamentals of the Act were born – an environmental act in which Canberra would tell states and communities and farmers what to do.

    We can see the result of this (environment uber alles) in the findings of the SA MDBA Royal Commission which resulted in those headlines ‘Joyce disregarded the law’ and that Commission’s calls for greatly increased environmental flows
    Rayvic upthread has mentioned the barrages; there’s a huge amount of fresh water going to the futile attempt to keep the “Murray mouth open” which was completely disregarded by the SA RC; and that should be rectified

  23. John A

    Muddy you said:

    Find an alternative for ‘activist’ you are happy to use, and use it.

    So how about “environmental saboteurs” for realism and “armchair Greens” for politeness?

  24. Wil

    How about ‘Browns Green Pinkos’

  25. W Hogg

    Water rights were a green left idea from the Gillard grubiment. Environmental buybacks ditto. And now it was “bungled” when
    – rivers dry in a drought
    – ocean flows make it worse
    – owners of water rights use them in a drought while others go without
    – people holding rights sell into a buyback
    – the price went up in a drought?

  26. Val Majkus.,
    I doubt we can learn very much from Briscoe who thinks we should use use less water, thinks we can do so without economic loss and sees food prices inevitably rising in the future presumably because of global warming.

  27. Water rights were a green left idea from the Gillard grubiment.

    They were from Howard and admittedly, they worked until Wong and Burke stared fucking things up.

  28. Davefromweewaa

    Prior to the barrages the Mulloway fishery in the lower lakes supported 100 families, according to Trove.
    Take out the barrages and run canals around the lakes edge to freshwater users. Straight away you have a million megalitres of freshwater that can be put back in to production upstream. Plus the return of saltwater species to the estuary. Win, win!

  29. Muddy:

    Find an alternative for ‘activist’ you are happy to use, and use it.

    The term is ‘Wrecker’.
    Stalin et al filled his gulags and graves with them when things went wrong.

  30. marg

    Find an alternative for ‘activist’ you are happy to use, and use it.</em


  31. a reader

    So glad to read that others know abouut the bloody barrages. I was once confronted in Glenelg by a swampy who wanted to talk to me about hte murray. I suggested to him that he really didn’t but he was insistent. So I told him that the only problem with the Murray was that the bloody idiots on North Terrace, aided and abetted by idiot ‘ecomentalists’ like him insisted on the barrages and were destroying the natural salinity of the lower reaches of the river and the lower lakes. He was aghast. A person behind me heard it all as I walked into Subway-they tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘you did say he wouldn’t like your answer!’

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