A thread to post information & impact of Howard's water initiative. It is early days yet so post information and perspective here as it arrives.
Talking to my local senator about this issue it arose for a number of reasons but mainly because the aborted sale of the Snowy Mountain Scheme. The fact that this sale was seriously considered by Victoria & NSW appalled many in the Federal Government.
Personally and politically I am very much a Federalist [not a Centrist] and do not like to see Federal governments increasing their powers but on this issue I am inclined to agree with their strategy.
Three big issues spring to mind. I didnt think [as a Territorian] that I had any right to tell a Tasmanian what to do with the Franklin River. The same for the Daintree area, that's Queensland. I was equally appalled at the bullshit that flew [from points south] over the Northern Territory's Coronation Hill dispute and the Koongarra & Narbalek Uranium mines.
I believe on the issue of the Murray-Darling that someone had to break through the political inertia that was killing this system. I hope this does it only even if it's on the basis that - ''You cant keep doing the same thing and expect the results to change''!
I think the states will concede rapidly on this issue. Most people are not aware that the Federal Government is not a ''big spender'' of this type of funding. It invariably hands it to the States to administer with riders & provisos. Often along the lines of money given to children. ''Yes, you can go to the pictures but spend any of this on cigarettes and alcohol and you wont get any more.''
The States all received massive, unbelievable windfalls of cash from the GST a lot of which has been turned into monuments to politicians. Things like bridges, tunnels and roads, all big ticket items that look good on the drawing board and in a political resume for achievement. One of the joys of being a politician is the right to spend near uncontrolled amounts of someone else's money on things you are interested in.
I would dearly like to see farmers financially assisted to maintain biodiversity in a much bigger way, it is starting to happen but this barely offsets the bureaucratic land grabs that occur on many farms. I am talking about the issuance of covenants and instruments over sections of land that a bureaucrat decides they need to conserve. Sadly, this economically threatens only those farmers who had actually been conserving and maintain pristine areas. I have never heard yet of a wildlife covenant being slapped over a piece of land that had been cleared, lasered and piped.
Anyway, I have probably said enough poorly researched and opinionated things to kick a thread off.... :shock: