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Queensland Govt., stunning hypocrisy over water

Premier Peter Beattie and his Deputy Premier Anna Bligh are whining in concert that the Federal Government is not doing enough to assist drought-stricken Queenslanders.
Within the last ten years the Queensland Govt. stood by and let Cubbie Station trap river flows at the border with NSW up to a scale of 600 GL per year (MDBC), about equal to the annual water consumption in Sydney.

But Hey !!, the Premier should have a cuppa and a lie down because later this year as the election draws near, the Federal Govt. will throw money at Qld. faster than he can count.

Last Update: Saturday, March 10, 2007. 4:36pm (AEDT)
ABC Online news

Beattie urges co-operation on water
The Queensland Premier has called on state and federal governments to put bickering aside and work together on the growing water crisis.

Level five water restrictions will take affect in south-east Queensland in April, with domestic water bills expected to rise by 147 per cent by 2012, even though car washing will be banned and further cut-backs to bucket watering will be introduced.

State Premier Peter Beattie says water affordability now relies on co-operation between all levels of government.

“We are not going to hide the fact that there is going to be price rises in water,” he said. “But we want contributions from the councils.

“We also want contributions from the Federal Government to try and keep it at a minimum and of course we’ll make a contribution as well.”

Bligh takes aim

Meanwhile Queensland’s Deputy Premier Anna Bligh has criticised the Federal Government for not doing enough to assist drought-stricken Queenslanders.

She has called on the Prime Minister to offer financial support.

“The national water fund was a $2 billion initiative for the whole country. We are yet to see Queensland’s share of that,” she said.

“Queensland has applied for $408 million and Kevin Rudd has committed that money if he becomes Prime Minister. Today it’s time for John Howard to commit.”

With a month for south-east Queenslanders to get used to the idea of the tough restrictions, the public relations campaign has been stepped up.

The Water Commission’s taken out a full-page advertisement in the Courier Mail outlining what level five restrictions will entail.

That includes the requirement that people use less water at home by taking four-minute showers.

The Government is reportedly spending $4 million on the public education campaign

Level five restrictions are set to start on April 10.

5 comments to Queensland Govt., stunning hypocrisy over water

  • Steve Sadlov

    It’s time to think big. Large canals and aqueducts to transport water from truly humid climates in the North and far SE to other areas. We did it in California, Australia could do it too, if only there was the will.

  • Hi Warwick,

    A couple of points:

    1. Is 600 gigs for Queensland/Cubbie that much when irrigators in the rest of the basin divert about 11,000 gigs?

    2. We already have tough water restrictions here in Brisbane. There is no hosing of anything. It is only possible to water with a bucket on particular days right now. With Level 5 restrictions homes that use more than about 800 litre/day will now be targetted and audited.

    I would be interested to see what the rainfall trend for the catchment looks like … since your last plot of about October 2006.

  • Always good to hear from you Jennifer.
    Re 1, It is a bit of a red herring bringing in numbers for south of the border.
    Of course 600 gigs is a huge number alongside SE Qld urban needs, and I mean small towns too. Remember the silly hoo haa re drinking treated sewerage in that Darling Downs town ? Not far from the very catchment that Cubbie does so well out of.
    Re 2, well I would say, Brisbane people have voted in Govts that have failed to adequately provide water infrastructure. Simple. Eventually chickens come home to roost.

    The BoM tell me it will be a few months yet before they can sell me their 2006 updated rainfall dataset for all Australia, 2 CD’s I think.
    Is it not amazing, considering the interest in water in Australian public affairs and media, that basic data like major catchment rainfall histories are not publically available.

  • Hi Warwick,

    You may be interested in the report on the SEQ drought recently handed to the Qld Govt, available as a PDF file from this page:

    Worst drought ever for Brisbane Dam Catchments
    www.nrw.qld.gov.au/climatechange/qccce/seq_drought.html

    Carl.

  • Thanks for that URL Carl.
    I have taken a quick look and at first glance can not see what stations they use for say Fig 1.
    For that matter I can not see a single rainfall station referred to anywhere in the report. When I tried to build a rainfall history for the catchments,
    www.warwickhughes.com/briswater/
    available data was pretty woeful.
    Will put it on the list to check out when I have more complete station data.

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