$1.3bn drought proposal
Barnaby desperately needs votes. His electorate desperately needs water.
"If the drought keeps going you have got to go ahead with extra funding otherwise you won't be the government" warns Barnaby". (this is not the first time we have heard this). "I have been in politics long enough to know how it works"; and so he has.
He has also been there long enough to make a difference to secure sufficient water for his electorate, but he hasn't. Even worse, under his watch as Minister for Water Resources he did a great deal to ensure that water would not be secured down the track for the majority in his electorate. We are now in the thick of the consequences of his decisions and actions.
As the drought intensifies the hand-outs get bigger, the propaganda increases and the prospect of future water security for the New England electorate gets smaller. Joyce in my opinion, remains wilfully dismissive of facts and the need to consider mitigating factors of current crises facing his electorate, viz:
- You can't get more water out of water systems than goes in.
- River and underground systems are not mutually exclusive; deplete one you affect the other.
- We are on track to spend even more time in drought over the next decade.
- More bores, pipes and dams will not make more water.
- Disrupting natural hydrology systems comes with unintended consequences.
- Land clearing results in higher temperatures which alter weather patterns which affect rainfall patterns.
- Regenerative agriculture practices improve degraded soils and drought resilience
- Exporting water in irrigated produce reduces water available for domestic consumption.
- Current water sharing plans are flawed in their concept.
- Current water trading regulations benefit commercial water traders and severely disadvantage those who need it most for their survival.
- Climate change and drought are integral parts of the same cycle; affect one, it affects the other.
- Adequate water is essential for healthy, viable ecosystems and communities which in turn are essential for healthy viable economies.
- Drought occurrence is not a linear progression; "tipping points" occur.
- Reality clashes with limitless economic growth theory.
- Wishful thinking and mythology doesn't produce rain.
There is much, much more for politicians to address their attention to in order for us to survive and live within the constraints of the Nation's finite water budget. Providing drought assistance handouts is the easy option. While Barnaby engages in politics (which he has previously described as "what you can get away with") New England burns. More and more "onya Barny" supporters are becoming disenchanted with the man. They are wearied by the severity of the ongoing drought and lack of prospects for the future. The Liberals need the Nationals, The Nationals can't get rid of Barnaby and none of them can see, or are willing to accept advice on the way out of the current and future drought crises that they have helped create. So, they will continue to do what they do best; buy voters and shift blame.
Jan Kleeman, Donald Creek