Water legislation: enriching the few, destroying the many
‘I’m going to make a shitload of money.’
Peter, a farmer, listened intently to the merchant banker boasting to the grandly-named Global Food Forum. Because the politicians had changed the rules under their National Water Initiative, the banker explained he’d been able to buy up a large number of agricultural water rights without owning any farmland.
By David Flint
As water became scarce the price would go up and he’d make a killing.
That banker was lucky to have escaped without the thrashing he so richly deserved.
Not content with creating a speculators’ paradise on the backs of farmers, the politicians invented sacrosanct ‘environmental flows’ which run untapped though farming land and must now flow out to sea.
Under the Constitution, Canberra has no role over the environment.
But High Court judges decided the government did if it had entered into some treaty about the environment, thus changing the Constitution without the people’s consent and probably without their knowledge.
It was all so different once.
Politicians supported farmers. My earliest recollection of a drought were in war-time, with warnings to save water over every tap and water trains sent from Sydney to relieve the country.
Not so today. Farmers are now being obliged to sell their breeding herds. They’re being forced off the land by the banks, some are taking their own lives, and all the while, ‘environmental’ water is still flowing down the Murray-Darling into the sea.
Too late for many, the NSW Parliament, its Nationals more obsessed with pushing abortion and even infanticide, is at last appropriating these so-called environmental flows for agriculture.
The plight of the dairy farmers has been exacerbated by the mismanagement of what was glibly called ‘dairy market deregulation’. This easy formula is like all those PR-designed packages the politicians like to pretend are ‘reforms,’ disasters like the National Water Initiative, the NBN and that charter for jerry-building, ‘outsourcing building approvals’.
When the politicians deregulated the dairy industry two decades ago, they surely weren’t so naive as to think this was the competitive market usually assumed in Economics 1.01. With any sense they would have realised that without protection, dairy farmers would be left naked and at the mercy of the increasingly-powerful supermarkets.
Almost a decade ago, the supermarkets, led by Coles, struck. They decreed that a litre of milk would be sold below the cost of production, $1. The farmers would bear the cost of bringing the customers in.
The politicians proved completely useless in fixing up the mess they had created. They did nothing to stop this outrage against every worthwhile tenet of a decent competitive market.
This, and removing vast amounts of water from agricultural use for fictional environmental flows, is leading to the destruction of dairy farming in Australia.
The exception are those farms, especially in Tasmania, which the politicians have allowed to fall under the ultimate control and strategic direction of the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party. The milk from these farms, probably not even producing tax, will be flown to China where it will fetch high prices.
The politicians have ensured that Australia will soon be a net importer of often inferior food, as we have already become with fish, notwithstanding our enormous coastline.
A few valiant voices have been raised against this. Pauline Hanson, looked down on by the elites, warned of what was about to happen last year; few took notice. Now, against the wishes of the government, she has launched a senate inquiry. Calling for the declaration of a national emergency and the urgent provision, with army involvement, of fodder, water and freight through loans similar to the $60b lent to university students, Alan Jones has rallied enormous support but is being ignored by know-all politicians.
Prime Minister Morrison shows every sign of forgetting that he did not so much win the election as Bill Shorten lost it.
In the meantime, Farmer Peter tells of the un-Australian regime under which all Australian farmers are now forced to operate. As if they were in some communist ‘peoples republic’, they are watched through satellites by the environmental secret police. They and the politicians they serve have an insane hatred of water being used to grow food.
In at least South Australia, farmers are now being bribed to fill in their dams. Aided by federal grants, contractors are offering those who keep their dams the free installation of ‘low-flow bypass devices’. These strictly limit the amount of water that can come into their dams. If farmers refuse, they’re told they’ll have to pay for them when they’re soon made compulsory.
The result is, as Peter says, a man-made or rather politician-made drought .
This persecution by the environmental secret police is constant and appallingly un-Australian. In Queensland more draconian laws have just been rammed through the single-chamber parliament concerning agricultural practices which the noted scientist Professor Peter Ridd says do not and cannot affect the Great Barrier Reef.
The Queensland government is already notorious for what they did to farmer Dan McDonald who fed his starving cattle with his own mulga. As any Australian would ask, what’s wrong with that? He was prosecuted and fined, but not with the nominal fines contemplated but rarely if ever imposed for holding Brisbane to ransom with some ‘climate emergency’ demonstration. Farmer McDonald was fined an unbelievable $110,000.
Yet when Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was recently questioned about this notorious case on Sky TV, her defence was to deny any knowledge of it.
Is there any doubt that the McDonald case is but the tip of an iceberg?
The liquidation of our farmers is yet another example of the way in which our delinquent, incompetent and self-interested politicians are determined to wreck Australia leaving it a net food importer, defenceless, with unbearably costly energy, inadequate law and order, immigration at unsustainable levels and educational standards spiralling down.
How long can Australians put up with this? As with the English in 1688, we need a ‘Bloodless (or Glorious) Revolution’.
First published in The Spectator, UK , Saturday 26 October 2019. See; https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/10/politicians-are-responsible-for-the-drought
Professor David Flint AM is an Australian legal academic, known for his leadership of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and for his tenure as head of the Australian Broadcasting Authority.