News

Let’s address ABC reporting

by
June 15, 2018

Sir,

Congratulations to the NSW Irrigators Council for standing up to the bias of ABC reporting against the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. This has been obvious, and frustrating, for quite some time and it had reached a point where action was needed.

The NSWIC has pointed out the ABC has taken a pro-environmental lobby position on reporting Basin Plan matters a total of seven times in the past 12 months.

So here is a list of seven possible stories which the ABC might like to follow-up to balance the ledger:

1. The massive community impact of the Basin Plan. Independent reports estimate the economic damage at $500 million and 1,000 jobs a year in the Goulburn Valley, and nearly $200 million and 700 jobs in the Murray Valley (including 46 per cent decline in population and over 60 percent in ag related workforce in the Wakool region alone).

2. Starving people in developing countries who could benefit from increased Australian rice production, also highlighting that our rice growers are among the most efficient in the world.

3. The proliferation of European carp from our Basin Plan’s flawed ‘just add water’ philosophy.

4. A history documentary on the Coorong and Lower Lakes, in particular the fact this was once an estuarine system yet we are trying to find a freshwater solution to its woes (which defies logic, as does the environmental push to return the system to its ‘traditional’ natural state using fresh water).

5. Flooding — the dire consequences of trying to force 80,000 megalitres a day over the South Australian border, as reinforced recently by Water Minister David Littleproud. An unbiased investigation will prove to the ABC and its listeners that the water simply will not fit down the system.

6. Flawed science — an increasing number of independent reports (including CSIRO) and ecologists are questioning the science on which the Basin Plan was drafted.

7. The 2007 Water Act — which predicated the Basin Plan. The ABC should have no trouble finding law experts who will tell them this is a terrible piece of legislation. Some claim it is possibly the worst legislation ever written in Australia. Their investigations will likely find the 2007 Water Act, and the Basin Plan, needs to be re-written.

And if the ABC wants an eighth story, how about the uncanny ability of South Australia to demand more water from the Murray for its environment, while at the same time approving massive waterfront housing developments using water from — you guessed it — the Murray.

If the ABC would like further background and information to follow up on these stories, please contact the Speak Up Campaign Inc. via the website www.speakup4water.com.

Yours etc.

Shelley Scoullar

Chair

Speak Up Campaign

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