Australia’s water woes will be solved not by demonising our farmers and destroying our nation’s agricultural sector but by investing in water infrastructure and using human ingenuity to overcome adversity.
Due to a total lack of vision from our major parties we are now seeing thousands of gigalitres of water from monsoonal rains flowing into the ocean off Northern Queensland, while the southern regions of Australia go without.
People don’t realise but if we simply collected roughly one weeks’ worth of the water currently going to waste, flowing into the ocean, it would be enough to supply every irrigator in the Murray-Darling basin with water for a year.
One Nation believes we need to undertake a comprehensive nation building project, known as the Hybrid Bradfield Scheme, to increase the water storage capacity of inland Australia, by building more dams and upgrading existing infrastructure, so that this additional water can be redirected towards the areas of Australia that need it the most.
By implementing this Hybrid Bradfield Scheme we could drought proof many parts of Australia, help fix the water issues in the Murray Darling and offer new hydroelectricity projects for the country.
At last costing, the Hybrid Bradfield Scheme was set at $9 billion dollars. This is a pittance when the long term benefits of such a program are brought into the equation.
When you account for the amount of revenue that would be generated by the increased agricultural productivity and the additional power generated by the project, it would quickly pay for itself.
It will also create much needed jobs and grow the populations of our rural and regional communities.
It is time for people to accept our farmers are not the problem because they are more environmentally careful and more water efficient than at any other time in Australia’s history. They are part of the solution, not the problem and they need our support.
One Nation will again be taking this proposal for a Hybrid Bradfield Scheme as a policy to the next election.
We will deliver the nation building, water security infrastructure projects that this country is crying out for.
The other parties can have all the bridges and tunnels they want but if we don’t have the water infrastructure required for our survival our nation will starve.
Paul Murray: Let’s finish off here with the very serious situation of what’s happening in the Murray-Darling, where yet again another example of the huge collection of fish that have died. Now again, this is one of those touch points where if you spend three hours talking about it you can’t get across all elements of this issue. But in and of itself, again, the Greenies believe that it is anyone who uses water to take care of their properties, to make sure that they can have any form of produce that is ruining the rivers, whereas, the minister responsible for regional water, Niall Blair in New South Wales, well, he makes a fairly good point which is, it’s difficult to flush through river systems when no rain is falling at all.
Niall Blair: There’s nothing that anyone has been able to point to, no scientists, no locals. No one has been able to point to anything else that could prevent something like this other than fresh water coming into the system, and we just don’t have that, and unfortunately with the weather conditions, the hot weather, and then the sudden drop in temperature, and the rain overnight, we’ve seen another fish kill today.
Paul Murray: Now, Janine, I’m not pretending that what is happening isn’t terrible. It’s a terrible thing to see, but it does make fairly obvious logic here that for water management, you need more of it falling from the sky.
Janine Perrett: Yes, I agree with that, but the word you said was management, it wasn’t just relying on God. There is management of this water system, and the question is, has there been mismanagement? Yes, you need water, but have they taken too much out? I don’t know, and I’m like maybe Pauline and some others who don’t want to believe the scientists. I’m happy to let the scientists from all sides get together. What I would love in this, is for once, this is a bipartisan issue. For goodness sake, can’t … Forget the Greens, because they’re out there. Why can’t Labour and Liberals get together, agree on a report, and at least say, it’s going to be somebody else’s problem on it? There has to be. We tried to do it with the Murray-Darling. It might prove to be simply a drought issue, but we need both sides to agree to look at it properly.
Paul Murray: Well, Pauline, why do you think this is happening?
Pauline Hanson: All right. You haven’t got enough water flowing through the system. What I’ve been pushing for is the Bradfield Scheme that comes from North Queensland, the Herbert, Tully, and the Burdekin Rivers, to actually direct it inland. Flood inland Queensland, flow down to the Murray-Darling, and run it through. What they’ve done, and I’ve been on three-day tour from bus from Victoria through New South Wales, to the mouth of the Murray-Darling, it has been mismanaged terribly, they’ve actually sold off the water. You’ve got international interests that are owning the water.
Janine Perrett: Yes.
Pauline Hanson: You’ve got an organisation, the Murray-Darling Management, has gone from 10 people up to over 300 people managing that. They’ve had the wetlands that they closed down in South Australia. There’s so much I can tell you about it. The wrong decisions that they’ve made. The Bradfield Scheme was priced. The last price they had was $9 billion, put that in, build the Bradfield Scheme. Water inland Queensland. Bring it from the Ord, water inland, Australia from the Ord Scheme as well, and bring water inland and flush out our river systems. That’s it. That’s what I’d be doing.
Paul Murray: It’s interesting though, Richo, where as important as this issue is, I can feel a certain eye glaze that kicks over because we’ve heard debates in and around Murray-Darling for a bloody long time here. People like Tony Burke, even Malcolm Turnbull at one point in time have all had some form of involvement in all of this. Just on the specifics though, of what the New South Wales Minister’s saying, how credible is it to say, I think correctly, but what do you think? If it doesn’t rain, it’s hard to move water around?
Graham R.: I agree. I don’t think there’s any magic wand you can wave over this, or silver bullet, or whatever, I just don’t think that that exists. I think the only solution is rain, and we’re just not getting any of that. It’s a terrible thing to watch, and I wish there was a fix, but I’ve not read of, or heard of a proper fix, so I’ll-
Janine Perrett: Well, at least Pauline’s got an idea. We’ve got floods up in North Queensland, instead of wasting $10 billion on an inland rail, boondoggle, perhaps we could have an inland irrigation system.
Graham R.: Turning rivers back the other way, is not as easy as it sounds.
Paul Murray: The Field … Bradfield, I think-
Janine Perrett: Would cost money.
Paul Murray: ..that the Bradfield Scheme’s not going-
Rowan: But if Pauline’s-
Graham R.: That might be viable.
Rowan: Pauline’s solution is putting forward … you’re using man’s ingenuity-
Janine Perrett: Exactly.
Rowan: -to put more water into the river, rather than having, which the Greens and Labour, and the liberals unfortunately, are just trying to shuffle around the money, the water will be there. Can I just very quickly say, that I think the problem is the number of avocado farms to feed a lot the smashed avocado pate’s in the inner-city Green’s electorate, so …
Paul Murray: Well, if that’s Aussie produce I’m more than happy.
Pauline, thank you very much, along with Richo, Rowan and Janine. I’m looking forward to it again next week.
Pauline Hanson: Well …
Paul Murray: All right. I’ve got to go there, let’s take a-
Pauline Hanson: Can I say, Paul?
Paul Murray: Yeah, go for it Pauline, be quick.
Pauline Hanson: I’ve got something for you.
Paul Murray: Oh.
Pauline Hanson: I’ve got something for you Paul, see that?
Paul Murray: Yes.
Pauline Hanson: And Richo, you can have one also, if you’d like to put it up at the watermark.
Paul Murray: Excellent, send it to the office. There you go, the bar runner. I’ve got the guts to say what you’re thinking.
Pauline Hanson: Okay. Cheers.
Paul Murray: God love you, darling. All right, quick break, back with more, we’re going to go to the pub next.