9 August 2005

Stage Two Restrictions Forever?

| johnboy
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The Chief Minister has put out a media release on his visit to new works at Googong. Apparently they can now move water out of Cotter, into Googong, and from thence to us. One wonders what has happened to the millions spent to be able to pump directly from Cotter?

ABC Online has more on this and it would seem that while we won’t be forced into Stage 3 this summer we’ll be stuck on Stage 2 pretty much forever until we run out in 2023 (bearing in mind it’ll take 20 years to build a new damn and it’s 2005 already). As Mr Stanhope only plans to win “a further four years beyond” the next election I suppose that makes it someone else’s problem

The Chief Minister seems to relish telling us how to flush our own toilets for the next 7 years, rather than setting a sustainable price and letting us make up our own silly minds.

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well it’s not a dam until it fills with water, but who’s to say that driving around in your bulldozer is something that you do for fun and look at the result !?!

You may very well suggest that, Maelinar, I couldn’t possibly comment.

It’s amazing how you can “accidentally” throw up a farm dam while moving a bulldozer around the property.

My advice that you can pass onto them from me is that forgiveness is easier to ask for than permission…

Just as long as they just do it and don’t make a fuss about it, nobody will ever know (except us)

If you do get caught, it was either always there, or sorry, didn’t realise.

There are plenty of farmers who have the shits about water management and wastage in rural areas, too.

I’ve got plenty of mates who farm on the Northern Tablelands and they are not allowed to put in dams on their own properties to drought-proof them.

The reason? The Department of Water Resources (or CALM or whatever it’s called at the moment) needs the water to flow off their properties into a few huge dams (Pindari and Copeton for example) that were built solely to feed cotton out at Moree.

So a hard-working bloke (or blokette) trying to grow sheep or cattle on the family property can’t make the best use of the land as a few huge agribusiness have the political clout to steal the water.

Essense. You are nearly on the right track. Nearly.

I attend regular meetings where we discuss how to assist farmers manage TERRAlitres of water that they are mismanaging.

And my issue is that the government is getting up my back about not using the half flush button on my toilet.

What part of that statement don’t you get ?

Terralitres opposed to half a bloody litre of water.

We’re bending over backwards to assist people who are out in unsustainable land, doing unsustainable practices, I’d love to be afforded that same security for any prospective business I decided to get into.

And before you get into the ‘doing it hard’ routine, we’ve now been in over 10 years of drought. To say that you don’t know how to handle a drought after all this time is like telling the world that you are a government sponsored idiot. Unfortunately that is the general gist of what I’m seeing in farming practices in this country.

Before you get into pulling apart that paragraph, be prepared to explain the fact that the water situation has not changed in the last 10 years, in regard to avaliability levels, except consumption has exorbitantly gone into production of cotton etcetera into said unsustainable regions.

I believe that the Government is to blame for the situation, responsibility lied directly with them to manage the water, which they didn’t do.

They have tried to pull the wool over our eyes by informing us quite politely that us town folk are consuming way too much water, and to flush less, not wash our cars, gardens etc. All the while the silent front have been abusing terralitres and laughing themselves silly.

Farmers get quite uppity at townspeople when they see this stuff on the telly, I don’t blame them, since their IQ generally leaves them (and I’m talking steryiotypically) amoung the crowd that believe everything they see on TV, so in their opinion they are seeing townspeople wasting water when their crops are going dry since they have only watered them 3 times this week – at a consumption rate that would frighten even you.

The CSIRO has recently published a paper that indicates where the real consumption levels in Australia are, the liability being directly upon producers and light industry. I note that still, after more than 2 months since it’s release, Government literature and propoganda is still informing me, the ordinary householder, that I am the nasty waster of the most precious resource.

And before you go into a hard done by speel about how the farmers are doing it tough, please remember that I am paying my taxes. So does my neighbours, and all the people living in my high density street. Our taxes are what’s driving this exercise in headbutting brick walls, and I’m not pleased about it one bit.

I know of farmers out there who are doing the right thing, they don’t have their hand out at all. This isn’t directed at them.

I just have a bee up my ass about the whingers who couldn’t run a farm if they had old macdonald as an advisor, getting up and telling me how hard they are having it, when in reality they have been mooching off me for the last decade.

I’m saying that outside of a real crisis leave people alone to do what they want to do.

and at $1.53 per thousand litres it can’t be described as a crisis. or even a shortage.

the ACT Government doesn’t even metre their own usage last I heard as an indication of how much they really care.

So all we’re left with is an exercise in control which lovers of native horticulture use as a reason for a lecture.

personally i have an ambition to never own a lawnmower so I’m cool with it.

doesn’t mean i want to tell other people how they live.

The Es-Sense12:09 am 12 Aug 05

OK, I give up! If people think their suburban life turns from awesome to terrible if the evil empire dictates to wash their car using a bucket and restricts sprinkler usage of 6 hours a day, turning them into a traumatised mob that has to make up shower and tooth-brushing rules so they can have a better whinge – then maybe water restrictions should just be lifted, so everyone can have a sound sleep. I definately will now.

The price for farmers in irrigation areas is even lower.

which is why they can grow rice and coton and bugger the environment.

you’re talking about distribution problems, not shortages.

you might also note that domestic water use is a puny fraction of total water use in this nation.

So again perhaps better to see those farmers being under-billed for what they get before dictating the layout of everyone’s garden and leisure activities?

The Es-Sense11:24 pm 11 Aug 05

Johnboy: Your argument makes perfect sense – with the premise of “The value of water is bugger all”. However, I would suspect that 99 percent of Aussie farmers (among others) might disagree. Anyway…Before I go to bed, I’ll just turn the tap on and leave it running until 7 am. Just because I can! Thanks for enlightening me JB 😉

Es-Sense, there are countless ways in which everyone could live their life better.

The point is we usually make choices.

The Government/ActewAGL values water (here) at the very highest rate at $1.53 for 1,000 litres.

So the value of water is bugger all. It costs a thousand times more than the bloody water just to get something to hold it in.

And yet the government (and you it would seem) wants to tell us how and why we can wash our cars, brush our teeth, shower

This isn’t about water conservation, this is a power trip.

I look forward to your instruction as to how I can better wipe my bum to conserve precious (and massively more valuable) toilet paper.

Also I should do some exercise in the morning and eat breakfast, can you come round and rouse me out of bed? Bring food OK?

The Es-Sense4:54 pm 11 Aug 05

Ah, yes, there is nothing like a knock-on effect covering a decent stretch goal while the social mobility is hiding behind the full potential in the broom cupboard 😉

I was making a general point. Stage 3 restrictions are more inequitable than stage 2, but they’re still inequitable. Most households probably will find that stage 2 doesn’t impact their activities that much, but as the restrictions get harsher they tend to bite more.

Economically minded readers will know what I’m talking about when I say water retrictions are inequitable. I can’t say it that simply without getting into economic babble about utility functions, non-optimal consumption and Pareto-inefficient outcomes.

The Es-Sense4:17 pm 11 Aug 05

Ralph: You can water your lawn with a hose! And wash your car with a bucket. And at Stage 2 you can even use a sprinkler, but in the morning or at evening.

The Es-Sense4:12 pm 11 Aug 05

Yeah…and let them bare-handedly carve the rocks to build Tennent dam, while Vicky D. is lurking in the background with a whip.

Water restrictions are inequitable. You can stand with a hose and put water on a garden for 15 mins, but you can’t put water on a lawn or wash a car. Even if you save water in the house, you can’t use what you’ve saved for car washing or lawn watering.

Price it properly and let people use it how they see fit.

I admire your point 🙂

Since water is metered anyway, let’s get into allocating amounts per person – that’ll sort the wasters out quickly enough when they have to go to Mt Franklin for more.

The Es-Sense4:04 pm 11 Aug 05

Okok…my point was a tad strong, but in general: If you are saving a lot of water anyway, what is the outrage over the restrictions? Just on philosophical grounds?
All restrictions do is force some people that are not like you (Maelinar) to think twice about the water used in their garden and on their car. We actually have a pretty feral water consuming garden (not our choice as tenants), but easily made it through last summer. The only hassle was that we actually had to hold a hose for 30 minutes around sunset every 2nd day and put some greywater out. Of course it is easier to turn the sprinkler on and you have half an hour more time to watch TV, but because of their ease of use, sprinklers tend to stay on for hours.
Now if this is too much of an inconvenience I can’t help people either. By the way: I am not member of the Stanhope fan club, neither do I think the current form of restrictions is the best solution (especially in respect to public places, ovals…), but I do prefer some for of water restrictions (or maybe just guidelines) to a free-for-all or a libertarian approach. The latter (although a good idea) would just lead to a situation where the rich bitches could blow a massive amount of water, while the..er…”Stanhope battlers” will really have a dry time.

I agree, there is one guy on the way home who has a sea of green lawn amoungst the expanse of wilted lawns.

Primarily I can’t understand his logic of making your property look good when nobody else is, but each to their own.

Makes a good landmark to stop for a little wee on the way home from Magpies though. Apparently his lawn likes beer infused urine too.

Mel, I think Es is talking generally; you only have to drive to our more affluent suburbs such as Isaacs, O’Malley, Forrest, Red Hill, Gleneagles, Jerrabomberra etc to see where water restrictions and English Lawns avoid contact on a near daily basis.

I would put it too you that most of our resources are wasted by a privelaged few. Still not solving any problems though, it’s merely an observation.

Learn from? Sure, the lesson is, don’t prosper.

I hear alot about water tanks, how expensive they are and the lack of Gov assistence. Are there other alternatives to tanks for individual residences? Surely there are poorer, drier populations on the planet that we can learn from.

do I have an english lawn – NO!
have I washed my car – NO!
do I tend my garden – NO!
am I still using 40% of total potable water as indicated by the government statistics – YES!

Es, you don’t know what your talking about.

The Es-Sense10:31 am 11 Aug 05

What about just thinking about saving some water instead of whinging.
Are you Aussies? Yes! Do you love your sunburnt country? Yes! Does a sunburnt country need an English lawn? NO! Do you need to water consuming cultivate noxious weeds, while farmers downstream can’t feed their cattle? Well, it’s up to you whether you want to live with the land you have or whinge and garden like poms.

Chris, Ralph: One of the conditions of the Federal Government’s resuming the land from then NSW farmers for the ACT back in the early 1900s was that it would always remain in possesion of the federal government. That’s why we don’t ahve freeholds in the ACT (at least, if I’ve understood it all correctly that’s why).


Stand with me at the next election Thumper! Together we will fight for the opressed, the poor, the neddy and the dirty car owners!

No probs seeing MLA’s w/o jobs, then they can justify living in Govvy housing.

Couldn’t agree more.

I’d be more than happy to see the non NCA areas absorbed back into NSW.

Bulldog, why not simply reactivate the old ‘No Self Government Party’ and lobby the feds to take back Canberra (OK, the Dept. of the National Capital can look after the Parlt. triangle) and the rest can either go back to where we were pre-self government or be absorbed into NSW! Either way it couldn’t be more expensive than our present morass. BUT – a lot of ACT MLAs would be out of jobs….

Cheers RG, I’ll bear that in mind.

I once worked with a colleugue who was French and he was agast at how laid back we were in Australia. He had told me on numerous occasions that if the shit they pull off here was done in Europe people would be out on the streets in protest, industry would shut down and the Gov’t involved would have to ammend it’s decisions.

Don’t know if he was correct, but it bears consideration. Mind you I don’t think that plan would work here becasue we are all such dependant consumers…

Any other ideas that don’t involve sending me to the poor-house?

Although the press involved sounds appealing: Vote 1: Bulldog to bite the bad guys!

bulldog, run for the assembly and raise it.

Mind your backpocket while you are at it.

Piss poor water management and inaction from the current and past Governments is to blame for our situation. And we are to blame for letting it happen.

Why can’t someone in the assembly stand up and indentify all the problems we raise on this site? Why are we letting the Gov’t continue with their self serving policies dictated by their own back pockets?

Any ideas? Anyone? Seriously, something needs to be done.

When I read things like “…rather than setting a sustainable price and letting us make up our own silly minds” it makes me think that if that ever did happen, the “speed cameras are revenue raisers!” screechers would take up a new mantra: “upping water prices is revenue raising!”

Somebody mentioned somewhere recently about why the government keeping us in a state of ‘frenzy’, this is a good example of us being too worried about other things and allowing the wool to be pulled over our eyes on the home front.

Sorry about being off topic, but is anybody doing anything about the government’s oligarchy at the moment ?

Despot Stanhope sounds better than Comrade at the moment

Next thing you know, we’ll all be asked to dig longdrops in our backyards to conserve water!

Will the general populous ever wake up and realise that water rationing (restrictions) is akin to communist regimes?

People even get into a communist mindset and are happy to be dictated to by the state about their water use, and comply, ‘because it is for the greater good’.

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