Careful what you wish for
We hear lots of comments from some of our politicians, aspiring politicians and local voices calling for a royal commission into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and/or the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
When both the basin plan and management of the MDBA are flawed, we really need to think carefully about a royal commission. This is just more thought bubbles without thinking through the consequences.
The South Australian Royal Commission outcomes are what we can expect the outcomes to be from another royal commision. That is, given the plan is based within the Environmental Act it doesn't need to take into account social and economic issues. This is what the SA royal commission found and what a former Chair of the MDBA believed. It's our clever political leaders who have weaved the social and economic impacts into the plan.
Any inquiry into the basin plan has a high probability of recommending similar outcomes to the previous one and could accuse governments and the MDBA of not going hard enough in implementing the Water Act 2007. On top of this, the commissioner is likely to be someone who lives in the leafy north shore of Sydney or the plush suburbs of Melbourne. They have been reading about fish kills over summer, how irrigators are turning on one another and that South Australia needs more water.
So what's the outcome? There, would be less water for irrigators, more direct buybacks and a royal commission to back it up. We would be better focusing on getting the Productivity Commission's recommendations implemented and getting the Water Ministers to align the Murray River operating rules more in line with a dryer climate so that water is maximised to all water users. Be careful what we wish for.
Malcolm Holm, Blighty
Heading towards disaster
The enlightening ABC report by Dominique Schwartz titled Wild Abandon featuring Lake Eyre is something that all Australians should see. It shows the filling of Lake Eyre and tells the reason why this year is so special; the so-called disastrous floods in North Queensland in January that the alarmists blamed on climate change, apparently it has happened before.
Throughout history there have always been winners and losers with any disaster, whether it be those that were employed to combat it, repair the damage caused by it, provided material for live cross media to promote themselves, do-gooders working out who to blame for it or politicians wanting some media attention.
Those riding the "climate change express" travelling at an uncontrollable speed into the tunnel with no light at the end are the ones who will cause the "man-made disaster"; they will either run out of fuel or crash at the end of an unfinished project.
They might come to their senses when there is no clean and green Australian-produced food on the supermarket shelves and they can't afford to pay their power bills; again we will hear we need renewables. How do the vast number of people who rent get access to solar power?
We have solar panels to help reduce our overall cost, but on one supply point to pump water for the livestock I have just received notice of a 50 per cent increase in both daily supply charge and usage charge to take effect on 16 June.