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Murray-Darling Basin. From the ABC online.

The head of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has said the historic agreement to protect Australia’s iconic river system for the environment and agriculture is in danger of collapse.

MDBA chief executive Phillip Glyde told the ABC he was concerned the New South Wales and Victorian governments might act on their threats to potentially walk away from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

“It’s certainly under a lot of pressure at the moment,” he said.

“If it [the plan] does collapse, we go back to circumstances before 2012 where various state governments use water as they may wish, but it doesn’t look after the basin as a whole.

“It would undermine the food bowl of the nation, undermine us having a sustainable basin that is environmentally sound.”

The crisis was sparked when Federal Labor announced on Tuesday it would support the Greens’ bid to block a 70-gigalitre cut in the amount of water being returned to the environment in the northern basin.

The cut, supported by the Federal Government, was recommended by the MDBA, which said it would save 200 jobs in irrigation-dependent communities in NSW and Queensland.

NSW Water Minister Niall Blair said his Government was “deadly serious” about reconsidering its commitment to the plan.

What is the Murray-Darling Basin Plan?

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan has remained controversial ever since its introduction back in 2012.
He said the processes built into the basin plan for adjusting irrigation and environmental flows had been agreed to by all of the state and federal governments involved.

“But now, because outcomes don’t meet political desires or wants, some want to overturn the umpire’s decision,” he said.

“We’re really questioning whether we would bother with any of the other implementation of the plan, if it’s going to be treated like this.

“The hard work that’s been done bringing communities along for the difficult conversations, to then have it just thrown onto the scrapheap like this, I don’t know, we’d want to be in a position to put our communities through that again.”

But tensions are set to rise even further when Parliament considers the potential return of 605 gigalitres of water to communities in the southern part of the basin.

The MDBA said that was linked to greater water efficiencies, which would allow the same environmental benefits for less environmental flows, Mr Glyde said.

The Greens, however, have said they would also move to disallow that.

“All governments have signed up to that 605-gigalitre adjustment six months ago. If that was to fall over I think that would be the end of the basin plan,” Mr Glyde said.

“[That’s] because that method means we can achieve the environmental outcomes of the basin plan with much smaller economic impact.”

A spokeswoman for shadow water minister Tony Burke said Labor would have to read the fine print of any new Greens motion and take it to Caucus before deciding whether to support it.

Topics: government-and-politics, environmental-management, murray-darling-basin, rivers, irrigation, rural, enviro

https://www.statista.com/statistics/567250/glyphosate-use-worldwide/

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/08/nsw-minister-altered-barwon-darling-water-sharing-plan-to-favour-irrigators

Here we are slowly regenerating the banks of Coopers creek. Seeding edge.

I must add that a month ago an indigenous man ( unknown to me) told me on the streets of Mullumbimby that the poisoning of Coral trees along the banks of Wilson Creek, is responsible for the deaths of platypus. 2 bodies were found that I know of soon after poisoning began.

 

From Fred.
Politicians will soon decide on whether or not to take more water out of the Murray Darling river system. They’ll look at facts, figures and graphs and maybe hear from some big irrigators. But I want them to know what this decision means to me and my people.

I am of the Murrawarri Nation in the Northern Murray Basin. Growing up, the river was our lifeblood. It was a place to fish, to swim and it’s the home of our sacred river red gum trees.

Our people talk about how life is reborn in the river red gums. We believe that spirits return to earth on the back of a falling star, and hide behind a bush near the birthing tree. A baby growing in its mother’s womb is waiting for a spirit, and as soon as the baby is born the spirit jumps into the baby giving it its first breath. The river red gums are sacred to us because we use the leaves to communicate to our ancestors in the sky camp. If the river red gums die, then so do our spiritual connections with our ancestors.

Growing up, the river would flood once every 3 to 5 years — what the gums need to stay healthy — but right now the floods only happen once every 15 years on average. The infamous Cubbie Station and the St George Irrigation area in QLD are able to take huge amounts of water from the system and the river is in a shocking state right now.

I want you to see it for yourself. Especially the Senators who will vote on whether or not to take more water out of the Murray Darling Basin Plan in the next week.

When parliament resumes, I’ll be in Canberra calling for more environmental water in the system and for the Murray Darling Basin Plan to be implemented in full.

Will you watch the video of the sacred river red gums I have a responsibility to look after for future generations? If you share it you’ll be strengthening my hand in Canberra ahead of the senate vot

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After 35 mls of rain.

Last week the gardens looked so wilted and dry I thought they would be a visual right off before my 41/70 celebration on the 10th of February. But after a day of on and off showers this morning it looks like this.

Snake bean flower.

Humans have been farming for 10,000 years. It was just about 60 years ago that we started industrializing agriculture in the U.S. and around the world. After World War II, chemical companies needed a market for wartime inventions and pesticides were put to work in the fields. In the decades that followed, trade and development policy — coupled with savvy marketing by chemical companies — effectively developed an entire model of industrial agriculture.
Today, pesticides touch every aspect of our lives, from residues on our produce to increased chronic disease to biodiversity loss. It’s time for a dramatic shift in our food and farming system.

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When will we ever learn?

On Christmas Day farmers around Walgett in north-west New South Wales noticed their infant cotton plants had begun to wither. Leaves began to curl and die, killing some plants and stressing others.

Within days, it was clear Walgett was facing a serious incident that had affected nearly 6,000 hectares (60 sq km) of cotton farms reaching as far as Burren Junction, and Rowena.

The culprit is believed to be a giant plume of 2-4,D, a pesticide that is used to kill broadleaf weeds in fallow fields and in some cereal crops. A few days earlier it had rained, which prompts the weeds to sprout and farmers began spraying – though who is responsible for the 2-4,D plume remains a mystery.

Herbicide 2,4-D ‘possibly’ causes cancer, World Health Organisation study finds
Read more
The spray, possibly used at night, is believed to have been trapped in an inversion layer in the atmosphere and then drifted over the highly sensitive cotton plants.

But cotton might just be the agricultural equivalent of the canary in the coalmine. Jo Immig, coordinator at the Australian Toxics Network said the effects of pesticide drift got public attention when cotton was affected and there were financial losses, but off-target spraying was probably affecting other areas, such as bushland, national parks, waterways and population centres, without attracting the same sort of scrutiny.

“It’s not as obvious when it’s in other parts of the environment. The regulators haven’t had nearly enough concern about pesticide drift and its impacts,” she said.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/18/nsw-cotton-growers-facing-complete-crop-loss-after-alleged-pesticide-drift

Spraying along Left Bank Road, Byron shire.

What herbicides kill.

Thanks to Tannon for  the stunning photos taken here on his mobile phone.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/18/2017-was-the-hottest-year-on-record-without-el-nino-boost

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/100677186/toxic-algae-more-deadly-than-cobra-venom-and-delicious-to-your-dog

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Organic.

More than 300 pesticides are permitted in conventional agriculture, and some may combine in a harmful cocktail effect. So for your sake and the planet’s, go organic. These are the UK statistics, Australia’s could be even more than 300.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/03/the-eco-guide-to-greener-veg

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The death of a living habitat.

The significant camphor laurel forest poisoned along with the fauna that have evolved to depend from the tree.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/21/insects-giant-ecosystem-collapsing-human-activity-catastrophe?CMP=share_btn_fb

Wilsons Creek runs at the downside.

A distinct relocation of nectar seeking birds as their Coral tree source were poisoned down our valley, has been obvious here with the flowers of my remaining Coral being a continual nectar source for lorikeets, king parrots, various honey eaters throughout their entire flowering period.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/29/common-pesticide-can-make-migrating-birds-lose-their-way-research-shows

So yesterday, following an other ways very enjoyable town day, I transplanted 34 rain forest tree seedlings which had sprouted in the vegetable gardens. In between showers, I collected blue Quandong seeds to later scatter along a stream bank.

Two recent inspirations. MARIA TINCHER, interview with Fran Kelly on Radio National, the Lady with the Rose in her hair, Gold Coast identity whose book is called DAUGHTER OF A RAZOR. a true story from a survivor, not a victim.

And my first Christmas gift………..James Rebanks…THE SHEPHERD’S LIFE………with the rain set to continue today I am looking forward to the company of a fine writer.

A salad from the gardens.

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Whitewash.

http://www.panna.org/?link_id=0&can_id=2059f0582f91adb53c7ab1eb8e944644&source=email-monsantos-playbook-whats-on-your-food-equity-now

Monsanto executives will not be happy about Carey Gillam’s new book.
Released last week, Whitewash documents the corporation’s aggressive efforts to establish, promote and protect their RoundUp Ready seed and pesticide empire. Through investigative reporting, Gillam unveils Monsanto’s dubious playbook, from bankrolling supportive scientists to blackballing critics and strong-arming regulators. It’s not a pretty picture.
An up-close look at corruption
In our line of advocacy work, it’s been clear for years that the pesticide industry has too much influence on public officials and the policies they set. The recent case of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt bowing to Dow on chlorpyrifos is just the latest case in point.
Gillam’s meticulous research shows just exactly how this works, with “friendly” regulators identified and cultivated by industry handlers, and the revolving door placing former executives in seats of public decisionmaking power again and again.
And then there’s the corporate science.
Whitewash documents Monsanto’s decades-long, largely successful campaign to control what scientists say about glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship herbicide, RoundUp. Their “friendlies” at EPA convinced agency scientists to ignore early findings that exposure to glyphosate was increasing risk of certain rare cancers in test animals. They promised funds to universities when studies confirmed the safety of their products, and arranged trips and speaking tours for supportive scientists. They even ghostwrote “independent” studies verifying glyphosate’s safety.
When a committee of independent World Health Organization experts found that glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen, Monsanto waged an all-out war to discredit and undermine those cancer researchers and their findings.
But this strategy appears to be losing steam as Monsanto’s credibility wanes. Last week, as Europe considered whether to allow continued use of glyphosate, French President Emmanuel Macron called for “more independent expertise” in the decisionmaking mix. Excellent idea.
Off the pesticide treadmill?
Whitewash’s release could not be better timed. As the fate of glyphosate is being reviewed in Europe, here in the U.S. Monsanto’s next contribution to the pesticide treadmill — a new formulation of the old herbicide dicamba — is creating heated controversy in the heartland.
So how are glyphosate and dicamba connected? It turns out that widespread use of RoundUp Ready crops meant a sharp increase in glyphosate use — leading to the emergence of hard-to-control herbicide-resistant “superweeds” across U.S. farmland. Monsanto’s plan to address this problem, with EPA’s blessing, was to sell a new GE seed and herbicide package and increase the use of a different chemical.
Enter Xtend soy seeds, designed for use with a cocktail of glyphosate and the drift-prone herbicide, dicamba — which this year damaged or destroyed over three million acres of crops in 20 states.
The dicamba story is a textbook example of the “pesticide treadmill.” And it won’t stop here. Scientists predict weeds will develop resistance to this chemical even more quickly than glyphosate, and resistance may have already started emerging in Arkansas.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Thanks to Gillam and others who continue to uncover clear evidence, we know that Monsanto is not, in fact, motivated by an altruistic desire to “feed the world.” Maybe we can finally put the brakes on their self-serving pesticide treadmill and support farmers instead of undermining those who don’t toe the Monsanto line.
Speak up! Add your voice to the call from dozens of farm groups to find a better solution and halt the pesticide treadmill.
Oct 16, 2017
Kristin Schafer

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Monday.

As we view the anger of the weather in the Caribbean and Florida, its just a question of what region is next. While our sun is shining and already we are seeing signs of drought in our Shire, it is always about adaptation when a crunch comes.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/11/threat-climate-change-hurricane-harvey-irma-droughts

 

So early start in the gardens where I had to chase out a swamp wallaby and a pademelon who had enjoyed feasting on what greenery is still flourishing. Fennel and parsnips seem to be their preference with both munched to the ground. They have learnt how to jump the fence.

Early start in the rain forest where I enjoyed 2 hours of slashing and layering remnant lantana plants. Had the rare glimpse of a Albert Lyre bird as it scurried to seek cover from me.

Unusual this time of the year to this  Lesueur’s frog in the bath.

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