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THE COUNTRYMAN

NEWS

 

Selwyn Johnston

INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES'

ADVOCATE

(Cairns... Far North Queensland)

 

Thank you for visiting my on-line office. 

I appreciate your interest in the issues that effect not only Queenslanders, but all Australians. 

Please let me hear from you about your views on the issues that matter to your Family, your Community and your State.  

Sincerely,

Selwyn Johnston

 

One person, with the support of the community, can make a difference

 

 

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WATER FACTS

INDEX

 

AUSTRALIA - WATER BRIEF

WHO OWNS THE WATER

MONSANTO IS AFTER OUR WATER

 

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AUSTRALIA WATER BRIEF

Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world, with annual rainfall averaging only 455 mm (although averages are poor indicators since rainfall is extremely variable in time and place). 

High evaporation and transpiration rates result in runoff of just 11% and groundwater recharge of 1% of average rainfall. Although Australia represents about 5% of the world's land area, it has only 1% of the global river runoff. 

Australia’s overall population density is very low, so water resources per person are quite sufficient and the population is concentrated along the southeast coastline, where rainfall and runoff are generally plentiful. 

However, Australia’s rainfall variability makes water resource management difficult. Typically, dams to provide reliable yields have to be double the equivalent for world average climatic conditions, and six times the capacity of European dams. 

Some of the country's best water resources are in the Far North and on the west coast of Tasmania – both far from centres of population and agriculture.

 

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WHO OWNS THE WATER?

WATER is a public trust; WATER is God given and belongs to ALL species on the planet Earth. No one must have the right to appropriate it or profit from it at the expense of the Australian people. 

YET, that is what the multinationals and merchant bank investors want to do. 

They see OUR freshwater lakes, rivers and aquifers as a rich reservoir to plunder. WE must head off the gradual corporatisation and subsequent privatisation of OUR priceless and public asset…  WATER. 

Like the satirical version of the 'Golden Rule' motto: ‘He who has the gold, makes the rules.’ 

In this case, 'He who has the WATER makes the rules, and rules your life…'  

That is of course, unless you've discovered a way to get along without water!  

If the landowners do not take positive action, then the government WILL continue to impose REGULATIONS or TAXES… or BOTH.  

WATER is a basic human RIGHT, not a government commodity that we must purchase in order to survive.  

The inadequacies and inequality of the Queensland Water Act 2000 needs no explanations from anybody. 

The severity and financial burden placed on primary producers and consumers is self-evident by the following extract from the Water Act 2000...  

Part 2 Water Rights - Division 1 - Preliminary  

Section 19 - Rights in all water vests in State  

All rights to the use, flow and control of all water in Queensland are vested in the State.  

Unless '…All rights to the use, flow and control of all water in Queensland are vested in the people of the State', ALL Queenslanders, including primary producers, will continue to be told and controlled by politicians, and unelected bureaucrats, as to the amount and cost of WATER they are permitted to use! 

Are we running out of water… hell NO! 

BUT… we are running out of storage infrastructures to supply water... as a direct result of belligerent and recalcitrant Governments NOT using OUR taxes to build dams and other storage facilities to benefit Queensland!  

 

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MONSANTO IS AFTER OUR WATER

For years now, Monsanto has been buying up seed, plant and biotech companies in order to establish control over the world's food.

According to Mr Robert Farley of Monsanto, "… what you are seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies, it's really a consolidation of the entire food chain. Since WATER is as central to food production as seed is, and without water life is not possible, Monsanto is now trying to establish its control over water. During 1999, Monsanto launched a new water business, starting with India and Mexico, since both these countries are facing water shortages." 

In other words, the crisis of pollution and depletion of water resources is viewed by Monsanto as a business opportunity, "The business logic of sustainable development is that population growth and economic development will apply increasing pressure on the natural resource markets... These are the markets that are most relevant to us as a life sciences company committed to delivering food, health and hope to the world, and there are markets in which there are predictable sustainability challenges and therefore opportunities to create business value."

By 2010 about 2.5 billion people in the world are projected to lack access to safe drinking water. At least 30 per cent of the population in China, India, Mexico and the U.S. is expected to face severe water stress. Controls over this scarce and vital resource will, of course, be a source of guaranteed profits.

As John Bastin of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development has said, "Water is the last infrastructure frontier for private investors."

Monsanto estimates that providing safe water is a multi-billion dollar market.

The Indian Government spent over $1.2 billion between 1992 and 1997 for various water projects, while the World Bank spent $900 million.

Monsanto would like to divert this public money from public supply of water to establishing the company's water monopoly.

Another new business that Monsanto started in 1999 was aquaculture in Asia. It will build on the foundation of Monsanto's agricultural biotechnology and capabilities for fish feed and fish breeding.

By 2008, Monsanto expects to earn revenues of $1.6 billion and a net income of $226 million from its aquaculture business. While the corporation's entry into aquaculture is through its 'sustainable development' activity, industrial aquaculture has been established to be highly non-sustainable.

It comes as no surprise that attempts are being made by the World Bank to privatise water resources and establish trade in water rights.

These trends will suit Monsanto well in establishing its water and aquaculture businesses. 

The World Bank has already offered to help.  

As the Monsanto strategy paper states, "We are particularly enthusiastic about the potential of partnering with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank to joint venture project in developing markets. The IFC is eager to work with Monsanto to commercialise sustainability opportunities and would bring both investment capital and on the ground capabilities to our efforts."

Monsanto's water and aquaculture businesses, like its seed business, aim at controlling the vital resources necessary for survival, converting them into a market and using public finances to underwrite the investments.

Water is, however, too basic for life and survival, and the right to it, is the right to life.

A more efficient conversion of public assets into private profit would be difficult to find.

 

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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870