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A LESSON ON LENTHALLS

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This is a graph created from a climate change model of the IQQM ( Integrated Quality & Quantity Model ) which is the computer software used by the Qld government to ‘model’ a catchment for potential yields from a proposed storage . This graph is in fact based on what would happen to the flow of the Mary river at Dagun Pocket ( just above  the Traveston site ) because we have used QNRW data from the Traveston Dam Proposal and  we have used a liscensed  (legitimate) copy of the IQQM model from NSW NRM ( Custodians)

What it is showing is that there is a strong correlation between reduced rainfall and stream flow ( yield) , we do this by asking the model , ” what would happen to stream flow if we had a 1o%  reduction in annual rainfall  in the Mary catchment?, and the model answers you will have a 30% reduction  in annual stream flow, this is based on a recognised and very recent paper,

 “Modelling of Stream Flow Reduction due to Climate Change in Western Australia- A case Study

1Bari, M.A., 1Berti, M.L., 2Charles, S.P., 1Hauck. E.J. and 1M. Pearcey1 Department of Environment, PO Box 6740, Hay Street East, East Perth, W.A. 6892, Australia,E-Mail: mohammed.bari@environment.wa.gov.au2 CSIRO Land and Water, Private Bag Number 5, Wembley, W.A. 6913, Australia 

www.mssanz.org.au/modsim05/papers/bari.pdf 

CSIRO hydrology scientists not extremists, the same applies to Lenthalls, you now have 3 years supply, if and only if you get the same amount of rain of recent times, if not then we are going to be looking for  an alternative .  A Catchment can only sustain a certain level of extraction, it is a cup which some times gets filled to overflowing, if you keep sipping and no filling, well you have a deficit of supply, this is why the Bligh government is covertly planning a pipeline to Lenthalls and also the lower Burnett FROM PARADISE DAM .

In Hervey Bay you have the potential for demand to outstrip supply, unless of course we have a steady  dowturn and plateauing of growth over the next 5 to 8 years.  This is also why the Bligh government is  planning  a dam on Baffle Creek, and it is the reason for Traveston, because they have done the climate change modelling for the dams around SEQ, Wide Bay, the Burnett and Gladstone, and found that yields are reduced.

LISTEN TO WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY. Decisions have been made, Minister Wallace revealed this on 7 local news, when he stated that he must focus on ensuring that Qld has a suitable water supply and it will be by building more dams , even though CSIRO climate modelling for our region shows that there will be a deficit. A Widebay Burnett grid is being planned to link up to the finalised SEQ grid.

This is from one of our people who has been involved with it, and  who recieved an email yesterday from a very senior , senior water resources manager, telling him he was not to contact former colleagues ‘unofficially”, or else! We are going to face a water deficit in our streams and hence our storages.

I tell you this, not because I am an extremist. I tell you this because I am a local scientist, a local conservationist and a local grandfather who is concerned about what this may mean for us economically and socially .

Now the facts about Lenthalls Dam. The vegetation surrounding Lenthals Dam is habitat to two Federally listed endangered species under the EPBC 1999. That is why it took a long time for WBW to gain approval for the two metre raising. Australian environmental law has been established to ensure that due process and transparent assessment is carried out to publicly demonstrate that MNES (Matters of National Environmental Significance) in our case Turnix Melanogaster ( Black Breasted Button Quail) and Acacia perangusta ( a wattle) , are adequately protected or mitigated  against significant impact from the project .

WBW did the right thing and asked Senator Ian Campbell to decide if the raising should be a ‘controlled action under the EPBC 1999.

He decided it should be, so WBW needed to have it assessed using Preliminary documentation, and producing a reasonable mitigation management strategy (I won’t comment on the adequacy of this strategy or its effective implementation . I shall wait until after the 15 march).

The second issue with the two metre raising was that of the protection of ‘Significant Aboriginal Cultural Areas’ under Division 1, Section 9 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984. I had been approached by registered Native Title claimant elders of the Butchulla people, to assist them with an application under section 9 to ask the Federal Minister Senator Ian Campbell (who was foolish enough to have lunch with Brian Burke), to consider an emergency declaration to protect Wongi Waterholes, because they were – and still are – of the belief, that the raising may cause significant impacts to traditional cultural values .

This process resulted in WBW requiring a management plan which would ensure that Wongi water holes would not be significantly impacted . This due process of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage law, also required a certain amount of time to be adequately dealt with.

The Fraser Coast is the land of the Butchulla people and I felt honoured and privileged as a non aboriginal person to be asked to assist them in their attempt to assert the right to due process of ‘whitefella law’.

I personally did not play a leading role in delaying the raising. What I did do was ensure that WBW followed the due process of  Federal Environmental and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Protection Law, simply because I had the opportunity to excel in those subject areas in my degree programme. 

 

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