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Archive for the ‘Victoria’ Category

Victoria’s Wimmera-Mallee pipe­line’s new five-year water plan; Grampians Water revised cost means water price increase of 17.1 per cent for taxpayers and water users

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

The cost of the Wimmera-Mallee pipe­line had blown out by more than a third to at least $688 million, reported The Age (16/8/2007, p. 6).

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Posted in Pipeline, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Water wizards tell Ministers how to ensure enough Murray Darling water for critical needs in 2008-09

Posted by waterweek on 9 October 2007

The Murray-Darling Basin Dry Inflow Contingency Planning; Overview Report to First Ministers, September 2007 was a report in which the Senior Officials’ Group listed five principles to underpin measures (including the possibility of a reserve) to ensure there is enough water available to run the river and for critical needs in 2008-09. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, Drought, Murray Darling Basin, River Murray, SA, Security, South Australia, Town Water, Victoria, Water Security, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Fed plan to take water from irrigators to keep in reserve for SA next year is “scandalous and unacceptable”, says Vic Premier

Posted by waterweek on 9 October 2007

The Howard Government was facing a revolt from Victoria over a radical plan to take water from irrigators to keep in reserve for South Australia next year, wrote Jewel Topsfield in The Age (20/9/2007, p.6).

“Scandalous”: Premier John Brumby said the proposal was scandalous and unacceptable, particularly when Victorian irrigators were on their lowest water allocations. Under the plan, part of irrigators’ water allocations would be held back in dams in Victoria and NSW in 2007-08 to ensure there was enough water to provide dilution flows to SA in the following irrigation year. A dilution flow releases large amounts of water from dams to improve water quality where there were high levels of salinity and algae. “You’re talking about a fair bit of water here, a lot of water,” Brumby said. “I can’t understand, for the life of me, why they would want to take water from irrigators today … to put aside for what might or might not be required.”

“Outrageous”: Sunraysia Irrigators Council chair Danny Lee said the plan was outrageous because it was doubtful that many irrigators would survive the drought. Irrigators in Victoria’s Murray irrigation system have been ensured only 10 per cent of their water allocations – their lowest ever start to a season.

The Age, 20/9/2007, p. 6

Posted in australia, Drought, nsw, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Eucalypt plantations in NSW, Vic have important role in habitat for endangered bird species, finds DPI study

Posted by waterweek on 5 October 2007

Species of woodland-dependent birds whose numbers have been declining were finding new homes in plantings of eucalypts and shrubs, reported Agriculture Today (27/10/2007, p.7). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, Emissions, Energy, nsw, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

SA Murray irrigators fear zero allocations from July 2008, as Vic Premier refuses to give up extra water

Posted by waterweek on 5 October 2007

South Australian River Murray irrigators feared zero water allocations from 1 July, wrote Clare Peddie in The Advertiser (2/10/2007, p.9). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, Energy, SA, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | 1 Comment »

Vic Govt announces Melbourne to remain on stage 3a water restrictions until at least June 2008; dams at 39.6pc

Posted by waterweek on 5 October 2007

Melburnians would be allowed to continue watering their gardens after the Victorian Government yesterday announced the city would remain on stage 3a water restrictions until at least June next year, wrote Luke Fenney in The Australian (29/9/2007, p.4). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

After years of inaction Victoria State government panicks as Melbourne approached level 4 water restrictions, says MLC

Posted by waterweek on 5 October 2007

The government had done nothing to renew and extend water infrastructure in Victoria, said Liberal MLC Wendy Lovell, Member for Northern Victoria, in the Victorian Legislative Council on 9 August 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Rural Victorian communities passionate on water issue, feel duped by Melbourne Water pipeline plan

Posted by waterweek on 5 October 2007

“‘New water’ has been the cry of the men in dark suits,” according to Donna Petrovich, Member for Northern Victoria, in the Victorian Legislative Council on 9 August 2007 . Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0414 | Leave a Comment »

Sunburnt country: 60 to 70 per cent chance of a dry October to December 2007 for South Eastern Australia

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

South Eastern Australia and Tasmania and the far southeastern coastal fringe of the mainland had a 30 to 40 per cent chance of exceeding the three-month median rainfall. This means that below-normal falls have a 60 to 70per cent chance of occurring. Over most remaining parts of the country the chances of accumulating at least average rain for the December quarter are between 50 and 60per cent. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Drought, Forecasts, Murray Darling Basin, nsw, Rainfall, River Murray, SA, South Australia, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Blistering heat ahead for Southeastern Australia – October to December 2007

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

The Government forecast issued 25th September 2007 showed the outlook was for blistering heat across tthe Murray Darling Basin, with the highest heat for South Australia and Victoria. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Drought, Irrigation, Murray Darling Basin, River Murray, SA, South Australia, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Vox pop: Basic physics ignored in Vic desal idea; needs 300MW base-load power plant to get water to Melbourne

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

To desalinate 150 gigalitres of salt water and pump 150 million tonnes of fresh water from Wonthaggi to the Cardinia Reservoir was going to require a 300-megawatt base-load power plant, wrote Geoff Croker of Ashwood in a letter to The Age (26/9/2007, p.B4). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, desalination, Emissions, Energy, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Over 300 NSW, Victoria, NSW towns face water restriction and water-carting under Ministers Armageddon dust-bowl plan

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

The Murray-Darling Basin Dry Inflow Contingency Planning Report to First Ministers ;lists Town-by-town contingency planning as “A detailed list of towns potentially moving onto no outdoor use restrictions from 1 July 2007. All states confirm that town-by-town contingency planning frameworks are now in place and are evolving as new issues and situations arise. Public information on affected towns is being made available via State Government web sites”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Drought, Emergency, Murray Darling Basin, Policy, River Murray, Town Water, Victoria, Water Security, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Interstate farmers steal River Murray water from groundwater, tributaries and the river itself: much cheaper than legally buying the resource; 68 allegations of water theft from the Murray and Murrumbidgee river areas

Posted by waterweek on 2 October 2007

According to environment reporter Cara Jenkin, reported in The Advertiser (26/09/2007, p.3), interstate farmers were stealing River Murray water and were happy to risk a fine because it was cheaper than legally buying the resource.

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Posted in Murray Darling Basin, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Brumby under fire: Vic Enviro groups accuse Brumby of sabotaging critical investigation to save Murray River’s red gum forests, after Premier rejects recommendation to flood the river’s wetlands

Posted by waterweek on 2 October 2007

According to Rachel Kleinman, reported in The Age (28/09/2007, p.4), environmental groups accused Victorian Premier John Brumby of sideswiping a $2 million investigation into saving the Murray River’s red gum forests after Brumby rejected a recommendation to flood the river’s wetlands with billions of litres of water.

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Posted in Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | 1 Comment »

Victorians heave a sigh of relief as Government announces easing of harsh stage 4 water restrictions along all of Victoria’s Murray River towns

Posted by waterweek on 2 October 2007

According to David Rood, state political reporter, reported The Age, (28/09/2007, p.4), harsh stage 4 water restrictions would be eased along all of Victoria’s Murray River towns even as Melbourne sidestepped stage 4 water bans with the surprise introduction of the new category of stage 3a restrictions, which had been in place since 1 April.

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Posted in Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Crane Group moves away from residential plumbing sector towards services to large-scale water infrastructure projects: 35pc fall in net profit

Posted by waterweek on 2 October 2007

Crane Group was expecting its move away from the residential plumbing sector towards services to large-scale water infrastructure projects would help it deliver a profit improvement this financial year despite persistent headwinds in some markets, reported The Australian Financial Review (14/8/2007, p. 18).

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Posted in nsw, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Despite zero water consumption, Melbourne family’s water bill still came to $126 for water service, sewerage and drainage

Posted by waterweek on 2 October 2007

The Steele family had been looking forward to this month’s water bill landing in the letterbox – for good reason, reported The Age (13/8/2007, p. 7).

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Posted in Consumption, desalination, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Prime Minister John Howard to use constitutional powers over interstate trading and commerce to enforce federal government control of water

Posted by waterweek on 2 October 2007

Prime Minister John Howard would use constitutional powers over interstate trading and commerce to enforce federal government control of water in the Murray-Darling basin after the collapse of his $10 billion water plan, reported The Australian Financial Review (25/7/2007 p. 3).

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Posted in Murray Darling Basin, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Danger of return to 1950s, when ASIO watched anyone regarded as vaguely left-wing, warns Australia Institute chief

Posted by waterweek on 2 October 2007

We were in danger of returning to the dark days of the 1950s and ’60s when ASIO, armed with excessive powers, carried out surveillance of anyone regarded as vaguely left-wing, including peace groups, anti-war activists and women’s groups, wrote Clive Hamilton, executive director of the Australia Institute, in The Sydney Morning Herald (7/9/2007, p.27).

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Posted in Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | 1 Comment »

GE Water, Veolia and Degremont will compete for South Australia and Victorian desalination plants

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

A public-private partnership is the most likely financial arrangement but the VictorianGovernment will not announce the funding deal until later this year reported The Age (7/7/2007). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, desalination, PPP, SA, South Australia, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Flow to South Australia slow: September 2007, Lowest flows since 1968, downstream of Euston Weir, and no flow at all from from Kiewa and Ovens

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

The pattern of flows to South Australia over the remainder of the season will be critical in managing river salinity in SA and for meeting increasing diversion requirements and losses said David Dreverman General Manager in the River Murray Report For The Week Ending Wednesday, 19 September 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, australia, Drought, Emergency, mdb, Murray Darling Basin, nsw, River Murray, SA, South Australia, Victoria, Water Security, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Vic’s new Treasurer, John Lenders, decides on $1bn-plus PPP for state’s first desal plant

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

He’s had a long apprenticeship, and now Victoria’s new Treasurer planned to keep the state growing, wrote Duncan Hughes in The Australian Financial Review (27/9/2007, p.69).

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Posted in desalination, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

150 gigalitre Victorian desalination plant part of $4.9 billion water reform package; ABN AMRO involved in financing of $6 billion of the $8 billion PPPs last year

Posted by waterweek on 27 September 2007

According to Adele Ferguson, the Victorian Government will use a public private partnership model to build the $3.1 billion desalination plant, reported in The Australian (20/9/2007, p. 20). ABN AMRO executive direc­tor of structured finance Geoff Daley said the investment bank was talking to various participants to try to get a role. ABN AMRO was involved in the financing of $6 billion of the $8 billion PPPs last year.

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Posted in Victoria, Water Week Vol 0412 | Leave a Comment »

Vic SOG officers wary of forced-entry raid that led to shooting death, coroner hears

Posted by waterweek on 22 September 2007

Special Operations Group police officers involved in a dawn raid on a Brooklyn house in 2005 expressed misgivings about the operation before a man was fatally shot in the house, a court heard, reported The Age (13/9/2007, p.9). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Security, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Murray Darling Armageddon: Ministers agree to drain and block 44 wetlands and build a new weir at Wellington

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

Like the Mayan collapse, it appeared the Murray Darling Basin was in armageddon mode. The long-predicted climatic change appeared to have come early. The Declaration by the the three States, was released by the Prime Minister, who under the just-passed Contingency Planning Overview Report to First Ministers, 20 September 2007.

44 wetlands to die, with more to come: Plans were listed for the death of 44 wetlands with more to come “Senior officials will continue to review the extent to which further wetland disconnection for the purposes of contingency planning is recommended in the Murray System in 2007-08.

Without precedent: “We are facing a spring and summer on the Murray like no other since Hume Dam was completed in 1936,” Chief Executive Dr Wendy Craik AM said today. “The unprecedented combination of both low storage levels and low inflows will require us to operate outside our normal operating regime.”

The Overview Report to First Ministers said: “Disconnection of regulated wetlands to save water in the system continues in each State”:

• The NSW Government temporarily disconnected one regulated wetland (Tareena Billabong) in June 2007. At Euston Lakes evaporation savings will be achieved via lowering of the weir pool. This will have the same effect as disconnecting these wetlands.

• In South Australia, twenty-seven wetlands were closed in January 2007 and two additional wetlands (Ross and Jaeschke Lagoons) were disconnected in June 2007.

The Minister for the Environment and Water Resources determined on 24 August 2007 that the temporary disconnection of a further seven wetlands in South Australia does not need approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) (EPBC Act).

• The Murray-Darling Basin Commission has agreed to funding disconnection of six of these wetlands, including the provision of alternative water supplies for existing users;

• The Victorian Government has completed a preliminary assessment of potential wetlands for temporary disconnection.

Temporary weir near Wellington: After a referral by South Australia, the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Water Resources has determined that the construction of a temporary weir near Wellington is a controlled action for the purposes of the EPBC Act. The temporary weir is to be assessed at the level of an Environmental Impact Statement. The South Australian Government will make an announcement regarding the weir during September 2007.

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, australia, Drought, Emergency, Environmental Flows, Irrigation, mdb, Murray Darling Basin, Policy, Project Approvals, River Murray, SA, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0411, Wetlands | Leave a Comment »

NSW, Victoria, South Australia policy-makers drought-panic leads to weasel words and tricky accounting

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

States have made a Declaration of emergency which requires to draining of more than 30 wetlands in the Murray Darling Basin to service Town Water and some irrigation. The Prime Minister’s release of the Murray-Darling Basin Dry Inflow Contingency Planning Overview Report, September 2007 showed panic-moves to respond to worst case of a dry Murray Darling system, with water below intakes, and with what water was left – so saline,  as to, poison crops. Each state had moved into last-ditch-measures mode, and tricky accounting was disguised with weasel word as all States agreed to change rules and use bureaucratic-speak to hide the take of the last water in the system – the wetlands and ‘environmental flows’ – needed to keep the river system alive. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in agriculture, Allocations, Drought, Environmental Flows, Irrigation, Murray Darling Basin, nsw, Policy, River Murray, Town Water, Victoria, water, Water Wars, Water Week Vol 0411, Wetlands | Leave a Comment »

“Serious” says PM: NSW, Vic, and SA argue over dregs of Murray Darling Basin

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

“The 2007-08 water availability outlook for the southern Basin system is serious and has deteriorated through August”, says the Murray-Darling Basin Dry Inflow Contingency Planning Overview Report to First Ministers, September 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Allocations, Drought, Emergency, Environmental Flows, mdb, Murray Darling Basin, Policy, River Murray, SA, Victoria, water | Leave a Comment »

Australia’s water-wars: PM says Commonwealth does not plan to divert water from Victoria to South Australia: issues water emergency plan

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

On 20 September the Prime Minister published the September Murray-darling Basin Contingency Planning, paper, despite Victorian resistance.  The Prime Minister said “Last week I wrote to the Premiers of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria and the Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory seeking their agreement to the release of the report. All except Premier Brumby agreed”.  The PM said “Yesterday Premier Brumby publicly announced that Victoria cannot agree to the release of an important report on water availability in the southern Murray-Darling Basin, claiming that it represented an attempt by the Commonwealth to divert water from Victoria to South Australia. The report does no such thing”, wrote the PM, and released the report, to illustrate his point.

The fourth Armageddon plan: When water falls below 3000ML – and its now at about 1500ML – an emergency plan cuts in.  The fourth Contingency Planning Report provides an update on 2007-08 water availability and state water sharing and allocations, an outline of the management of unregulated flows, progress on 2007-08 contingency measures and recommendations for contingency planning in 2008-09.

How the PM sees it:  “ Contrary to Mr Brumby’s claims, the report does not request that Victoria – or any other jurisdiction – divert water to South Australia. Rather, it recommends that measures be taken in 2007-08 to ensure there is enough water available to run the rivers and for critical needs in 2008-09. This includes the possibility – amongst other actions – of a “collective reserve” to be established by the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, about which Premier Brumby expressed concerns to me last week.

Brumby says “No”: Premier Brumby’s actions “follow Victoria’s refusal to join all other jurisdictions in the National Plan for Water Security, on which the Commonwealth has been forced to adopt legislation invoking its constitutional powers”, said the PM. “ Given Mr Brumby’s misrepresentations, and strong public interest grounds for it to be in the public realm, I am releasing the fourth contingency planning report, noting Victoria’s position, in full today, 20 September 2007”.

Posted in Allocations, Drought, Emergency, mdb, Murray Darling Basin, nsw, River Murray, SA, Victoria, Water Security, Water Wars, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Goldfields Pipeline helpful, but fast-growing towns need underground aquifers for water solution, says Steve Gibbons, Member for Bendigo, Victorian

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

Despite some good recent rains water reserves remained far below normal capacity, with the reservoirs in the Coliban system currently about 15 per cent full and Bendigo’s other main source of supply, Lake Eppalock, at under five per cent of capacity, said Labor MP Steve Gibbons in the Federal Parliament on 14 August 2007.

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Posted in Aquifer, Drought, Emergency, Pipeline, Salinity, Storage, Town Water, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Bendigo had no natural waterway sufficient to sustain a city of 100,000 people

Posted by waterweek on 20 September 2007

In his electorate of Bendigo there was no natural waterway sufficient to sustain a city of 100,000 people, said Labor MP Steve Gibbons in the Federal Parliament on 14 August 2007.

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Posted in Pipeline, Policy, Project Approvals, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »