Threat to precious water resources

North Queensland based Senator Ian Macdonald warned today that the current nomination under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to classify dams, weirs and other artificial watering points as a key threatening process to biodiversity was extremely dangerous.

Senator Macdonald, who was a member of the Coalitions Dams Task Group and initiator of the Coalitions Northern Australia Development policy, said that the availability of water was the key component for the development of Northern Australia and any threat to thatsupply should be taken very seriously.

It is obvious that water supplies not only keep native animals and farmed animals alive but also sustain some predators, Senator Macdonald said.

This appears to be the key objection of those who have made the submission. But to suggest that man-made watering points should therefore be banned is like suggesting that young men should all have their arms cut of so they cant punch anyone - its a nonsense.

If, as the submission suggests, the availability of water has allowed the establishment of feral animal populations, then it is these populations which should be targeted, not the lifeblood of the north water.

Senator Macdonald said the submission ignored the fact that many man-made water storages had developed into wildlife sanctuaries in their own right, citing, as examples, the Fogg Dam in the Northern Territory, a RAMSAR listed location recognised internationally for its biological significance, the Mareeba Wetlands, North Queenslands biggest brolga roost and the RAMSAR listed Lake Argyle formed by the construction of the Ord River dam.

This submission also ignores the fact that without well-designed water storage and water availability, not only is further development stopped, but the people and industries currently operating in the top half of the country would be without water, Senator Macdonald said.

In fact not one Australian city or town could remain if this absurd submission were to be upheld.

There would be no farming, no grazing, no mining, no towns and cities, no industry of any kind. Employment and wealth creation would be devastated.

It seems that those responsible for the submission want to shut down rural and regional Australia and to make Australians totally dependent on imported food.

The reason for this, one can only speculate.

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