Saturday, February 4, 2023



Ali Curung records 540mL in 24 hours

An Ali Curung resident couldn’t believe his eyes when he checked the rain gauge at Council on Thursday morning. Michael Stanley-Hunt knew the downpour Wednesday night was heavy, was evident by the flooding in and around the community, but the rain gauge measured a staggering 540mL.

A final word – Water inequality and District Council of Coober Pedy financial sustainability: Tim Jackson

"Since late 2019 Coober Pedy water consumers have been calling on successive State Governments to introduce SA Water pricing in Coober Pedy. This would result in prices being reduced by two thirds. Unfortunately, no State Government commitment has been secured. In that time Coober Pedy consumers have paid $5 million more for their water than if they lived in Adelaide. This is scurrilous": Tim Jackson, Administrator, District Council of Coober Pedy.

Action needed on land conflict: NSW Farmers

Farmer blockades of mining trucks will escalate unless real action is taken to resolve land and water use conflict, NSW Farmers warns. On Saturday police were called to a state forest near Gunnedah after more than 60 farmers blockaded Santos trucks amid a dispute over potential water extraction and fracking. Local communities feared the Sub-Artesian Basin and aquifers could be forever polluted if coal seam gas projects went ahead, and saw no option but to take action after the NSW Government renewed a petroleum exploration licence in the area.

Palaszczuk Government signs off on over $370 million for Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline: Palaszczuk, Butcher

The pipeline will carry raw water from Wivenhoe Dam and connect with Toowoomba Regional Council’s existing water infrastructure to deliver water to Warwick and will be an opportunity to deliver treated water to the Toowoomba region communities of Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby and Clifton. Importantly the pipeline provides drought contingency for residents of Southern Downs Regional Council.

Euston weir and lock 15 to be reinstated: MDBA

The Euston weir and lock 15 will be reinstated ... as high flows in the River Murray continue to recede. The weir was removed in mid-September 2022 to allow floodwaters in the River Murray to pass unobstructed.

Upgrade works at Leslie Dam complete

Part of the Queensland Government's $19 million Southern Downs Drought Resilience program included upgrade works to the intake pump station at Leslie Dam. Water Minister Glenn Butcher said the upgrade work includes replacement of three 55-year-old pumps, pipework and the electrical switchboard.

As 2022 draws to a close, what’s ahead for ag commodities in 2023: NAB

Despite agricultural commodity prices retreating last month to the same level as November 2021, many Australian producers are seeing their most profitable period in living memory as 2022 draws to a close. Released on 19 December 2022, NAB’s December Rural Commodities Wrap reports the bank’s Rural Commodities Index was down 2.6% in November on the back of increasing volatility in livestock and grain markets.

Federal Labor snubs farmers: VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says Federal Water Minister Tanya Plibersek is continuing to ignore farmers. VFF Water Council Chair Andrew Leahy said despite multiple attempts by the VFF to meet with the Commonwealth, Minister Plibersek’s key water adviser and Murray Darling Basin Authority staff were in Shepparton, but did not meet farmers. “There is no group more impacted by the Basin Plan than farmers and the Commonwealth has chosen to ignore us.”

Susan Close skips the country as River communities brace for flood devastation: Centofanti

Water Minister Susan Close has defied Peter Malinauskas’ order to visit River communities once a week in the lead up to the extraordinary flood event, instead favouring a month-long overseas holiday – her third international trip in the past three months. With water levels expected to peak in the coming weeks and more homes and businesses becoming inundated, the Opposition questions the timing and length of the holiday.

Sand slug season

As the Albanese Government is trying to rush through its water recovery strategy before Christmas, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s sand slug has been very active. Like a mythical creature that lurks in the watery depths, the sand slug was the MDBA’s answer to why the natural constraint of the Barmah Choke had reduced in water delivery capacity ... A recent photo from grass roots community members continues to highlight the rapid rate of erosion at Davies Beach, Cobram.

Moulamein Notebook – River dropping slowly

China Gibson. The 2022 flood will be the new 100-year flood level in the Edward at Moulamein. The old record was 6.094m. I think we got to 6.235m ... When you start to open banks, block banks or leave banks that stop water flow, it always affects someone else. That is the way floods are. The old saying has always been, “Fires unite, floods divide.” Pretty close to the truth ... Before all this flood stuff got real, I noticed that some of our frogs had laid their eggs in some wheel tracks that had water in them ...

Murray–Darling Basin Authority communique, 12 December 2022

The Authority commended the ongoing efforts of the MDBA river operators to provide significant flood mitigation for communities downstream of Hume Dam, with twice the volume of the dam's capacity having been carefully released over the past 6 months to manage downstream flows. This has enabled the peak outflow from Hume Dam to be moderated throughout winter and spring.

Libs continue to support moratorium

Chris Oldfield. The Liberal Shadow Cabinet will continue to support a moratorium on fracking in the SE which runs until 2028. It will also continue to work on land access through agricultural properties to mines because “both agriculture and mining are important to the economy”.

Boats torn to shreds by sudden off-shore storm

Sarah Martin. Seasoned sailors have warned of the importance of remote telecommunications and being prepared following a freak storm that left dozens of yachts damaged at Lizard Island. Watson’s Bay, a popular anchorage on the northern side of Lizard Island and home to some of the world’s most pristine reefs, had about 25 vessels anchored when a freak storm with winds over 100km/h burst in from the north.

Records fall as water rises

North of Barham, the flood devastation continues as millions of dollars of crops are lost, houses flooded, and residents battle the relentless rising waters. The river heights at Moulamein are setting new records, the flood benchmark height of the 1956 6.09m is eclipsed, with water exceeding 6.22m.

Choke hold

Even with more than 100,000 megalitres a day crossing the South Australian border, SA Water closed the barrages due to seawater flowing into the freshwater estuary. SA Water satellite imagery also shows the current flooding is still not moving down the Coorong. The real risk of constraints relaxation may be felt closer to home. The modification of the Barmah Choke has been seen as the crown jewel for accessing held environmental water. The choke protects Echuca-Moama and Koondrook-Barham from large Murray floods from Hume Dam, currently on display with the flows heading north down the Edward-Wakool system ... Community concerns over constraints relaxation flooding farmers and potentially impacting townships has been labelled as scaremongering by MDBA Chief Executive Andrew McConville.

Maintaining wetlands monitoring: Cape York NRM

The Mary Valley wetlands will undergo a new round of monitoring as an ongoing record of how the area is faring following works carried out on Country ... This month, Cape York project officer Ben Ansell visited one of the wetland sites with Traditional Owner Ashley Lyall to determine the percentage of feral cattle footprints, pig damage and live vegetation cover in the area.

Winds of change blowing as Water Corporation powers towards net zero future: McGowan, Kelly

The McGowan Government is taking the next significant step towards achieving its target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions after announcing Water Corporation has secured the development rights of what will be one of Western Australia's largest renewable wind energy projects ... In a move that will significantly reduce its emissions, Water Corporation today announced it had secured development rights for the Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 2 from WA-owned Moonies Hill Energy.

Gooramadda, Indigo Creek and Bells Flat Roads update

The scale of the damage to Gooramadda, Indigo Creek and Bells Flat Roads means that we’re still assessing the best way to restore access: Within the 24 hours of Monday 14 November and Tuesday 15 November, what initially appeared as a small sink hole on Gooramadda Road, Rutherglen has now totally eroded a large section of road.

Murray Darling Basin Authority is out of touch: VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation has expressed outrage towards the comments made by Murray Darling Basin Authority Chief Executive Andrew McConville in his Rural Press Club address, 10 years after the Basin Plan gave the green light to take water from farming communities. VFF Water Council Chair Andrew Leahy said Mr McConville’s commentary ignored the ongoing impact of the Murray Darling Basin Plan on farming communities and sounded like it was designed to appease the Federal Labor government ... “We expect the MDBA CEO to be professional and impartial, not a political sycophant. It seems he needs to re-read the Basin Plan as he forgot to mention in his speech that the 450GL is only possible if there are no negative social and economic impacts”.

Pipeline secured for local towns

Cambooya, Greenmount and Nobby are set to be connected to the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline after Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) gave its approval last week, subject to conditions. The pipeline will see the townships of Cambooya, Greenmount and Nobby, as well as Clifton, connected to treated water supplied from Wivenhoe Dam via Toowoomba.

Flood emergency: Council to levy governments for funding of upgrades

Both the Narrandera Shire Council Mayor Neville Kschenka and General Manager George Cowan will lobby the State and Federal Governments for funding for upgrades to highways as well as the town’s water supply and stormwater systems ... Submissions will be lodged with the NSW Government seeking support for routine flood damage repairs, highlighting the importance of betterment to the Newell and Sturt Highways and the Narrandera town water supply and stormwater systems.

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