Snowy River plan damages Murray basin (letter)by G. de JongNews Weekly
, August 24, 2002
The NSW Premier, Bob Carr, has repeatedly stated that Australia's population is too large. He, in conjunction with the Federal and Victorian Governments, is going to restore 28 per cent of the Snowy River flow, at the expense of the Murray River.
The Murray basin in the food basket of Australia, and its rural population is a centre of population growth.
Realistically, once cannot expect a growing population in the big cities where one child families are the rule.
The Snowy Scheme generates a lot of "green" electricity. More water for the Snowy means less power for the cities of Sydney and Melbourne.
The great Snowy diversion project took about 20 years to construct, and in today's dollars, would cost many billions.
One simple question: would the Snowy Scheme proceed if only 72 per cent of the water were available? I guess the answer is no. Admittedly, there has been too much irrigation for rice crops. We should follow the Israeli example and apply more drip irrigation.
Also, barriers in the Murray should be removed, so that the salty water can flow without hindrance to the sea.
For Premier Carr, trout fishing in the Snowy River is more important than developing the dry inland of this brown continent. It seems this death wish is also shared by the Federal Government in Canberra.G. de Jong
Windsor Gardens, SA