While government money for necessary upgrading and construction of dams is welcome, recent statements from some politicians are alarming.
Just building dams is not the answer to the current or future drought, and suggesting removal of ecological and environmental assessments and restrictions to do so is environmental vandalism and political opportunism at its worst.
Water and arable land are ultimately the most scarce and precious resources this country has. They are finite and potential lost to inappropriate exploitation. The ingoing health of the land, rivers and inter-connected underground water supplies is essential for long term sustainable development.
The signs of oncoming disaster now stare us in the face. Rivers and wells run dry, thousands of native fish die, drought in Eastern Australia is worse than anyone living can remember, Queensland recently suffered unprecedented floods. Forests are rapidly being destroyed by incompetent forestry agreements, slackened biodiversity protection and disastrous bushfires. Oceans are warming and polluted and the Barrier Reef is dying. Australia holds the record for native plant and animal extinction.
Why then do we support political parties dedicated to an economic theory arguably no longer fit for purpose, and unable or unwilling to take action necessary to attempt alleviation of rapid and catastrophic climate change? Why do we ... allow water to be commodified and sold to investors who may have no interest in agriculture?; Turn a blind eye to corruption and misuse of water in the Murray Darling Basin?; Allow coal miners financial advantage over agriculturalists in water use?; Allow exploration and drilling for coal seam gas where fracking potentially puts aquifers and the Great Artesian Basin at risk?
What is wrong with us? I suggest apathy, stupidity, ignorance and greed - all perhaps leading to "rabbit in the headlight" syndrome. Australia has enjoyed much success, but instead of resting in self-congratulation, we should also acknowledge our many mistakes and failures, and learn from, not be blind to them.
We urgently need a bi-partisan, national policy for action to alleviate climate change, not policy on the run, knee-jerk reactions geared only to the next election.
We need a Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin and water policy in general. We should initiate some form of carbon tax, phase out fossil fuels and ban new coal seam gas drilling. We should be researching and planting crops which do not demand high water use, recycling urban water and encouraging knowledge of science to overcome the 'yuk factor'.
We should stop deforestation, research better methods of fire control with investigation of indigenous knowledge, and give tax concessions for viable revegetation projects. We should accept the fact that accelerated climate change is real, and responsible for increasing occurrence of extreme weather events, and demand much more from all our politicians.
Yes, it will be difficult. Yes, it will cost. And yes, Australia is only a small part of the world problem. But if we are not prepared to act - then who? If not now, when?
The cost of doing nothing is immeasurable. Are we content to leave this legacy to our children?
Glenys Bundy, Dungowan