Australia is the driest continent on earth.
Yet we invest tiny dollars in water even though we are aware that Australia has the potential to become the food bowl of the world.
Unaccountably, we are willing to risk only miserable dollars in this enormous trading opportunity.
The reason has always been clear.
80% of voters live in metropolitan areas. This enables politicians to safely ignore the bush and still retain power thus ensuring that money flows to where voters are.
For at least a century, it has been clear to water engineers that, during ‘The Wet’, excess water from tropical rivers can be diverted down normally dry rivers to bring new life to the great agricultural and pastoral plains of the Inland.
The initial capital cost will be the equivalent of the money that Australians spend annually on gambling, ie, 15 billion dollars.
There are no excuses for failing to take action.
Inactivity on water investment is simply political cowardice, combined with negligence and a total lack of vision, plus a mortal fear of losing power because voters will be angry that the money was not spent on handouts for them.
While we dither, the rapidly growing middle class of Asian nations, who now number more than 350 million people, are demanding better quality food. Canada and the United States will fill the void while Australia sleeps.
Last year a good friend of mine, John Thompson, an experienced bushman and environmentalist, worked with me to draw up a practical water plan that you should read. It shows how a constant stream of fresh water can go down the river systems all the way to Adelaide and Lake Eyre with the aid of a few short canals and can be viewed here on my website, everaldcompton.com.
If you would like to chat to John, send an email addressed to him at email@example.com. That way we will both read it.
John and I have been lobbying politicians hard about water. They smile, pat us on the back, tell us we are good boys and then do nothing. Not even the current perilous drought moves them.
Join us in making an issue of it once and for all.
When it is all said and done we know that, without water, life is impossible.
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Yours at Large