Monthly Archives: September 2016

Enough is enough

The Macintyre River.

The Macintyre River.

Farmers from across parts of southern and south-west Queensland and northern New South Wales have launched a national campaign to save their communities from the “devastating impacts” of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (MDBP).

“The multi-media campaign, which will be hosted on the new Australian Farmers website, highlights the pain already suffered by Basin towns and farm-businesses at the hands of the Basin Plan while demonstrating the further damage it will inflict if rolled out in its current form,” Cotton Australia General Manager and campaign spokesperson, Michael Murray said.

The campaign coincides with the lead-up to the conclusion of the Northern Basin Review, with the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) due to make its final decision on the Review in October.

The campaign also builds on the significant work already undertaken by irrigation dependent communities across the Northern Basin to shed light on these issues and to strive for a “better” solution.

Mr Murray said some communities had already experienced losses of full-time employment of up to 35 per cent as a result of the implementation of the Basin Plan.

“Enough is enough,” Mr Murray said.

“The simply ‘just add water’ approach already in place does not work in the Northern Basin and must be abandoned.

“Already 278 GL of water has been recovered from these communities and we call on the MDBA to recommend that the Government adjusts the Plan so that recovery stops now.

“The campaign we have launched today provides ample evidence as to why this should be done as a matter of priority.”

Mr Murray said a range of complementary measures existed which had capacity to leverage the maximum amount of environmental improvement from the water already held, and provided a common sense alternative to further water recovery.

“These measures can achieve better outcomes for the river without the unnecessary destruction of our country towns,” he said.

“They include cold water pollution mitigation via thermal curtains on headwater storages, feral animal control in wetlands and marshes, re-snagging to improve native fish habitats and the introduction of fishways along the length of the Barwon-Darling.

“Strategies such as the carp herpes virus to reduce the infestation of European Carp could be the greatest benefit that we can give the river.

“We now urge all members of the public to join with us in stopping the destruction of communities in the Northern Basin. Governments must understand it is possible to achieve environmental outcomes without sacrificing our communities.”

The Australian Farmers campaign to save northern Basin communities is supported by National Farmers’ Federation, Cotton Australia, NSW Farmers, AgForce Queensland, NSW Irrigators’ Council, Queensland Farmers’ Federation, National Irrigators’ Council, Gwydir Valley Irrigators’ Association Inc, Border Rivers Food & Fibre, Smartrivers, Macquarie River Food & Fibre, Namoi Water

To support the campaign go to http://www.farmers.org.au/morethanflow.

Wet weather sends wedding plans into chaos

WET WEDDING: The recent weather event has disrupted many weekend plans but not many as a significant as for Rowena Willson, who has been forced to

WET WEDDING: The recent weather event has disrupted many weekend plans but not many as a significant as for Rowena Willson, who has been forced to

The wet weather has upset long weekend plans for many, but few can say it has turned what is supposed to be the best day of their life upside down. 

Rowena Willson was due to marry her partner, Daniel McCall, outdoors at her sister Madeline Hennessy’s property off Research Road in Nuriootpa on Saturday in front of 110 guests. 

The couple lives in Walbundrie in New South Wales but decided on a Barossa Valley wedding as most of their family lives in South Australia and there’s plenty of accommodation nearby. 

They had previously planned on marrying in January next year, but brought the wedding forward as Rowena will undergo treatment for ovarian cancer. 

Marquees were ordered, as was a port-a-loo, months ago in anticipation of the sunny spring wedding but it appeared this week’s big wet had other ideas. 

A panicked Rowena spent this morning calling possible alternative -indoor- venues to celebrate her special day and luckily managed to lock in Angaston Town Hall.

OPTIMISTIC: Bride-to-be Rowena Willson with Kelly Martin at her Hen's Night.

OPTIMISTIC: Bride-to-be Rowena Willson with Kelly Martin at her Hen’s Night.

“Right now you can’t access the road here and my brother-in-law has helped three cars out of the water today, including four-wheel drives,” Rowena said.

“I can’t get into the paddock where we planned to have the wedding and the dam across the road is overflowing.

“I rang the Angaston hall in a panic this morning. They’ve got a function early Sunday so we’ll have to make sure it’s cleaned up for them.”

Meanwhile, the couple’s phones were ringing hot with guests wondering if the wedding was still on, while others had become stranded in NSW flooding on their way to the Barossa. 

But while the turmoil is enough to turn even the most calm of brides-to-be into a full-scale ‘bridezilla’, Rowena said she was feeling grateful. 

“You’ve got to laugh, because what else can you do. I was stressed about the minor details before but now this has happened that’s all gone out the window,” she said.

“All of our guests are bushies who don’t mind, they’ve joked about wearing their gumboots along and we’ve made sure we’ve got plenty of alcohol, we’ve stocked port – that’s all that matters.”

Plans for a recovery day had included the Marrabel Rodeo, but those have also been cancelled along with the popular long weekend event. 

Luckily Rowena has a well-deserved massage booked for the morning after. 

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