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Water Articles

Modelling, Schmodelling! How to rationalise policies that would destroy the economy

Catallaxy Files, 25 July 2018

In a reprise of the feeding of the 5000 with five loaves and two fish, the Energy Security Board has offered salvation for the Australian economy with the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

Good Sense Sold Up the River

Quadrant Online, 6 December 2019

Earlier this week some 3,000 irrigators and their supporters rallied in Canberra against government policy on Murray-Darling irrigation and management. With the cacophony of dozens of semi-trailers’ blaring horns, it was certainly noisy. Ominously for the National Party, their representatives were treated with considerable hostility, particular anger being directed at water Minister David Littleproud

Irrigation water restraints about to become more harmful

10 September 2019

There is a considerable interest in water in the Murray Darling, an issue that I have written about over the two decades during which concerted attacks on irrigation took place. Most of my articles and reports, including my latest piece in The Spectator, drew attention to the effect of taking water for environmental and other reasons from irrigators. Recent activity by farmers has given the matter some considerable profile and Alan Jones addressed it as did Peta Credlin.

Hysterical claims drown out the facts on water

Herald Sun, 2 March 2018

The South Australian election has temporarily benched the political struggle over water use in the Murray-Darling. ​ That region, responsible for over 35 per cent of Australia’s agricultural output, has become a political football with farmers facing pressure from greens and green academics. ​ In 1995, around 11,000 of the system’s 32,000 gigalitres were allocated to farmers (about 2,500 gigalitres is for drinking water) when state governments agreed to issue no more irrigation licences.

Inventing benefits from regulations reducing farmers’ use of water

Catallaxy Files, 10 January 2018

An article by the excellent rural reporter Sue Neales, examined the sales and purchases of irrigation water rights for agriculture in the Murray-Darling Basin (agriculture uses about 90 per cent of water collected in dams for industry and personal consumption). The focus of the article was on the overseas purchasers of the water rights, the prices of which have risen strongly – high security rights now trade at $3000 per megalitre, more than tenfold the price 15 years ago.

Green Economic Vandalism Throttling Farming

Catallaxy Files, 31 January 2016

As a result of irrigation, the Murray Darling Basin became Australia’s premier agricultural province – accounting for up to 40 per cent of the nation’s farm output. It did so while making the river system more pleasing and safer by creating a placid, ever-flowing river.

Green Myths of the Murray Darling

Quadrant Online, 31 January 2016

The environmental lobby first cited salinity as the reason irrigators must have their access to water reduced. Next, farmers were Flanneried with warmist prophecies of drought and more drought. And they were right! Thanks to those bogus alarms, agriculture and national wealth really are being ruined

Politicians should pay for errors

Herald Sun, 27 October 2017

Victoria’s Wonthaggi desalinisation plant will be five years old this December. At an initial cost of $5.7 billion and an eventual cost of $19 billion, the plant will never be required. The $19 billion eventual price tag means a direct and indirect cost to the average Victorian household of $13,000. A far more productive alternative – a new dam - could have been built for only one billion dollars.

Turn the Tap On for Agriculture to Keep Growing

Published in the Herald Sun 16 April 2015

A DECADE of stagnating output and sluggish productivity growth in agriculture screams out for reform but a foreshadowed Commonwealth policy review is behind schedule.

As a business manager, Victoria doesn't hold water

Herald Sun 4th September, 2010

Rain is falling in Victoria and water restrictions are being relaxed. How well has the Government performed as a business manager in drought-proofing Melbourne and other Victorian cities? The Thomson Dam - Victoria's most recent major catchment development - supplies on average 150 gigalitres a year, a third of Melbourne's needs. It was commissioned in 1983; since then Melbourne's population has increased by 30 per cent.

At last, a decision that holds water

The Herald Sun 5th May, 2007

The Bracks Government's greatest long-standing policy blunder has been to allow environmental activists to dictate water policy. Environment Minister John Thwaites came to office baring a hairy green chest. He cancelled long-standing plans to cater for Melbourne's water needs by damming the Mitchell River.


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