Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

The Great Divide Pipeline

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The ‘North-South Pipeline’ taking Goulburn water to Melbourne is shaping up to become the Victorian Government’s Achilles’ heel just as ‘Work Choices’ has for the Federal Government. It is creating a great divide between the city and the country.

With farmers abandoning their production and country towns destined for stage 5 water restrictions whilst Melbourne remains on stage 3.5 or less, is it any wonder that food-bowl farmers are organising against the proposal.

The following chain email is the latest action of the Plug the Pipe group and readers are urged to email this protest on to everyone they can (cut and paste to your email program)

*This is information from the plug the pipe group*

The group has been organised to represent irrigators, farmers and landowners along the Goulburn River system who will be affected by the north south pipeline (known as the Sugarloaf Interconnector) to Melbourne.

The pipe will commence at Yea and extend down the Melba Highway for 70 kilometres to Sugarloaf Reservoir to drought proof Melbourne and Geelong by 2010. The State Government promised at the last election that it would not take water from north of the great divide. The day after the election it started the goldfields pipeline to Bendigo and began preparations for the north south pipeline

The State Government has also stated that it would take 75GL of water (imagine a swimming pool 100 kilometres long, 750 metres wide and 1 metre deep) that is this amount of water from Lake Eildon. Already the pipe size has been extended and the Governments own document talks about 100GL going down the pipe.

It will have severe environmental and economic impacts on the north of Victoria. This is a massive project and takes water from one of Victoria’s heritage rivers without any environmental impact studies being undertaken. This is unheard of in this day and age, particularly given the green image the State Government portrays to all Victorians. This is environmental vandalism at is worst.

The people of the Yea Valley, who rely on water out of the Yea River are to be put on a roster next week for their water allocations, due to reduced inflows. This normally occurs in February or March and is another indication of how serious the water shortage are in Northern Victoria. It is rather ironic that the route for the north south pipeline is along the same corridor as the Yea River but no extra water from the pipe will be allocated to the farmers.

Melbourne and Geelong can fix their water problems without taking it from Northern Victoria, it seems silly taking water from one of the driest catchments and sending it over the great divide to one of the wettest (Melbourne). What about rainwater tanks for houses in Melbourne afterall it is one big roof with stormwater running straight to the sea? Is this just too simple?

Those of us in the north of Victoria understand that we have limited water resources, are still in a drought and the whole concept to pipe water to Melbourne is dramatically flawed. Lake Eldon currently is only 22% capacity and it is the middle of spring. Irrigators will only receive a small percentage of their water allocation even though they have to pay for 100%.

The construction of the north south pipeline threatens irrigators security in times of drought as water from Eldon will be sent to Melbourne as the first option over irrigators. The government has advised that a third will go to Melbourne, a third for the environment (including all the townships and regional centres on the Goulburn system) and a third to irrigators.

The Goulburn River system supports 9 billion dollars in food production for the domestic and overseas markets. We cannot afford to lose this homegrown product to imported foods in the future. The farmers that live on the Goulburn River system (some for many generations) understand that the water savings the government is talking about are just not there.

It is requested that you send this information onto as many people as possible, especially located in Melbourne as we are trying to get the message across to all Victorians, something that the government is not doing.

This is serious business and the Plug the Pipe Committee (a non political group that has representatives from across the Goulburn River system) and supporters have vowed to fight long and hard over this issue.

**Ellen Hogan******

**Member Plug the pipe ****Committee**

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Written by Greg Naylor

18 September 2007 at 11:17 am

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3 Responses

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  1. Good effort Greg. The facts will stop this rediculous project.

    The Piper


    12 May 2008 at 11:24 am

  2. I don’t think the facts will stop the construction of this pipeline. However, the construction of the pipeline may well see the end of a state government not prepared to be advised by the electorate.

    There can be nothing more unjust than taking water from an area that has not been able to supply a quota to it’s irrigators for many years.

    Greg Naylor

    12 May 2008 at 12:31 pm

  3. Governments are generally contemptuous of the voting public, they break promises, mislead, lie and generally demonstrate they couldn’t care a tinker’s cuss about whether the voting public respects them or not.

    There is very little dis-incentive for governments to behave this way, the voting public demonstrates they have the nouse of a loaf of mouldy bread time and time again by voting the bastards back in.

    We have stringent standards to enable someone to drive a car but to vote one must merely be a citizen, be over the age of eighteen and not be incarcerated.
    Then we wonder why time and again we get lacklustre governments.

    There is a good argument for instating a test to ensure that a person is capable of logical thought BEFORE enabling them to vote.

    All those people who are rejected from jury duty for being incapable of making a rational decision based on evidence presented before them….vote.

    Socrates was right I tell ya.


    17 May 2008 at 7:01 pm

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