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Issue #1902      February 10, 2020

Letter

What is happening to our country?

Australia is such a huge country we really don’t know what’s going on everywhere: suddenly we’re experiencing horrific fires as well as watching natural waterways dry up. Why was the Murray-Darling Rivers’ natural flow decimated causing that massive fish kill? Even with global warming I feel there is some other cause – human interference in the natural order.

Monsoons over northern Australia haven’t diminished. They have fed the inland rivers and the Artesian Basin for millennia: so, what is happening? River systems and local creeks (even in tropical Bundaberg) are drying up. They have never dried up: they are spring fed and should be unaffected by droughts because they are permanently fed by the Great Artesian Basin. Suddenly the water in the aquifers is not sufficient to feed these creeks – why not? Northern Australia still receives its monsoon rainfall which keeps the Artesian Basin filled. There is no reason for the Murray-Darling river system drying up.

The Murray River’s water is being siphoned off by mega mining corporations and mega agricultural concerns, such as rice and cotton. Along the Darling River millions of gallons of water is dammed into private dams which is destroying the ecosystem. In the Northern Territory, fracking wells cover thousands of square metres above the water catchment area. Each well uses 1.5 – 1.6 million gallons of water. Add to this the fracking wells in the Tom Price mining area in WA and those in the Nullarbor Plain: a total of 43,000 fracking wells. Is all this causing the depletion of the Great Artesian Basin? How do we find out the truth?

We are running out of water in Australia not only because of drought but because our government is selling our water to these mega corporations and now with the disastrous fires sweeping through the eastern states, rural Australia is being wiped out. On top of having no drinking water, they now have no livelihoods, no homes, no way of life. The way our water is being mismanaged cannot be sustained. Am I the only Australian to suspect that there is gross criminality associated with the buying and selling of water in NSW? The 2018 case of Barnaby Joyce and the $80 million buy-back of water from two Cayman Island companies (Agricultural Managers Ltd. [AML] and Eastern Australian Irrigation Lt. [EAI]), which had been set up by Energy Minister Angus Taylor, still hasn’t been investigated.

Why have I the feeling this country is being ruined by shysters and con men? It’s about time we put this right. And another thought – water is not a commodity to be bought and sold!

Eileen Whitehead

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