Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink

It’s been raining cats and dogs here for the last week or so, with more coming for at least the next week. Compared to last winter, the drought in Adelaide at least has broken. Inland – still a different story.

Which brings me to water.

It looks like the local Water Minister, Karlene Maywald, will lose her seat at the next election because the country people in her electorate are so pissed off at what they see as all talk and no action. The perception is that those evil bastards upstream have oodles of water and want to make sure we don’t get a drop, here in South Australia, at the tail end of their sewer.

This is partly true and partly baloney, but when people are pissed off they lash out, sometimes unreasonably. The state government here can’t make it rain. And the much heralded new deals from the new Federal Government are all just so much long-term hot-air, with NSW and Victoria having effectively delayed any substantial changes to their water over-allocation policies for a good 10 years.

The really strange thing is that Mike Rann, Premier of SA and supposed Master Strategist And Student Of Machiavelli, seems to have (if you’ll excuse the expression) gone to water on the whole issue.

The same Mike Rann who fought the Federal Government’s nuclear waste dump has a golden opportunity to make a big gesture. Something symbolic that will yield a small benefit and a huge symbolic win. Right now a big fuss is being made about the Federal Government inaction when they could be buying the huge water guzzling cotton farms like Cubbie Station, and a few others.

While the world whines, I’m sure Mike Rann could dredge up $600 million or so and go buy all those properties, dismiss the staff, and pump out their massive water storages.

Just imagine if the SA goverment bought those properties! Rann would be a hero on SA, and the most evil bugger on the planet in the eastern states. It would secure his victory at the next election, and relegate his opponent Mr Stunt-Man-Smith to a spitting, scratching, name-calling ninny for the next decade.

Bold action has been taken before – dare they do it again?

One Comment

Great post, Wally.

My response to your last question? Ah, if only.

Comment by Kath Lockett | August 12th, 2008 11:10 am | Permalink

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