Category Archives: dams

Mismanagement of Springvale by EHP

Robbie Burns
EHP Brisbane
July 17, 2017

Re: Queensland Inc purchase of Springvale Station, west of Cooktown

Dear Mr Burns,

Further to our recent phone conversation about the mismanagement of Springvale by the EHP I would like to make the following points as per your request:

  • The $7m purchase of Springvale was made on the basis of halting erosion and runoff into Princess Charlotte Bay
  • This has been proven to be false and misleading data on sediment flows given to the EHP by a local researcher, for now it seems personal benefit
  • Your own empirical data published in 2013, previous to the purchase of the station shows that Springvale contributes less than 1% of reef runoff from the upper catchment
  • Your own data published in 2013 shows that Lakefield National Park contributes 86% of runoff onto the reef
  • You have no suitable management plans for the station that have been agreed to by neighbouring properties, other than Tim Hughes
  • Last week Springvale management firebombed a neighbour’s property without telling the owner
  • Previous owners of the station, historically noted as well respected natural bushmen and conservationists, say there are no specific ecosystems found on the station that would justify national park status
  • Springvale has 4000 acres of developed cultivation and three flood-lift irrigation licences for the Normanby River system
  • The property is too highly developed for conservation values
  • Cook dam, built on the station four years ago contains about 1000 ml of rain water
  • It was designed by a Mareeba-based hydrologist and has been assessed by a local engineer as sound, it has survived four wet seasons, two with rainfall in excess of 50 inches, 20 in one week in 2015, and two cyclones
  • It is anti-human nonsense to replace sound engineering with GAIA-based  Agenda 21ideology that demands man-made structures be torn down so as to revert to nature
  • This dam cost $400,000 to construct and would have provided irrigation water to support a multitude of food crops, thus providing indigenous jobs and prosperity for the Lakeland District and beyond
  • The hydrologist who designed the dam has refuted allegations by your department that the wall is unsound
  • Hydrologist Jeff Benjamin designed the dam and I will include comments he has made:

My personal view is that preservation of the dam as a sediment detention storage and wildlife refuge that would serve a more useful purpose than removing it, as there is some seriously fragile, eroded country just West and up-stream of the dam that no amount of OUR money thrown at it will ever stabilize.

The dam was designed with an effective spillway and fish-way, however construction work was forced to cease due to early wet-season rains.  Although I did not visit the site when work ceased, I believe that the embankment height was about 1 to 1.5 m below the intended final design elevation.  At this elevation a natural depression on the eastern side provides a broad, natural spillway so that the embankment would not be compromised in the event of intense storm run-off; which is in fact, exactly what occurred when Cyclone Etta, (I think), passed straight over the property in January 2014, reportedly dropping about 300 mm of rain over-night!  The statement about “unacceptable safety risk” would therefore seem totally baseless.

  • A large pumping unit, rented from Coates Hire in Cairns was seen on the dam bank some weeks before media attention. Another dam was also being emptied.
  • This pump was placed in a shed at the homestead, out of the public view after the Minister was contacted by a reporter for his comments
  • Polypipe syphons that were in the dam draining the water were also removed after media and public scrutiny
  • A large amount of soil erosion damage was done by water running from the dam siphons onto the fragile soils causing one metre or more deep channels in the soils for 100 metres or more resulting in wide washouts below the dam wall. I have been able to source photographs of this wanton environmental damage which is a terrible indictment on your departmental officers and whoever ordered the dam’s destruction.
  • Neighbors downstream of Springvale on the East Normanby reported large sediment plumes in the river, making a complete mockery of your Minister’s prattle regarding sediment runoff as the reason for removing Springvale Station and 4000 head of cattle from production  leaving Cook Shire Council with an ever bigger hole in its dwindling rates income
  • Removing this dam will destroy the newly created ecosystem based on the dam environment. Local birdlife, aquatic life systems and water for the survival of native animals will disappear when this dam is bulldozed.
  • The biggest question remains. What to do with 30,000 cubic metres of  earth fill from the dam wall? Your officers, obviously intellectual pigmies by their actions in wanting to remove the dam, would have no ability to restore the site to its original state. Any attempt to do so will result in a large percentage of this fill ending up in the East Normanby during the next tropical rainfall event. Then it will be a factual doomsday for Princess Charlotte Bay and the presently healthy Barrier Reef, thanks to the stupidity of anti-human malcontents like Jackie Trad, Stephen Miles and Bob Brown(are they buddies?)
  • The only hope for small business and farmers, the real economic drivers of a once-prosperous Queensland  combined with 24 years of the worst governments ever seen in any post-war economy anywhere in the developed world, is to forever banish ALP/Greens/LNP governments.
  • We desperately need a Donald Trump clone in Australia to do away with all the population-reducing policies of the ISO, modern Labor and neo-Liberals. We could dump Paris, engage Clexit, ditch Agenda 21 cum 30, deny any further funding to you and your ilk, and hope the country can recover from the mother earth worshippers that infest your department(and all the others) not forgetting our infiltrated universities. Wow we might even return to God!

Yours faithfully,

Keith Courte JP
Mareeba 4880
fnqdt43@gmail.com

  • NB: I have never met nor spoken with the previous owner and do not know him, so please no witch hunts. Please do not again threaten me with trespass even though Springvale is the property of the political corporation, Queensland Inc. I have never placed a foot on the property. Should I come into possession of any more information I will send it to you.

 

Qld Govt at war with itself over $7m cattle property purchase

More jaundiced reporting from the ABC about Springvale Station west of Cooktown that the Queensland Environment Department bought for $7 million to prevent sediment runoff into the ocean.

The only problem is that bogus data was used to base the purchase, when in fact the Government’s own previously published scientific data clearly showed Springvale Station was responsible for less than one per cent runoff into Princess Charlotte Bay.

See story Cairns News: ‘Lakefield National Park contributes more reef runoff than all combined cattle properties in the catchment’

from ABC

In what could be a storyline from the satirical TV series Yes Minister, the Queensland Government has gone to war with itself.

Key points:

  • The Mines Department is considering an application to mine a river on state-owned land for gold and tin
  • The Environment Department bought the land in a bid to halt sediment reaching the reef
  • The two departments are in a legal fight in the Land Court

The ABC has learned one Queensland Government department has lodged a legal objection to another department over a plan to mine a river on state-owned land.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is taking on the Department of Natural Resources and Mines in a stoush in the Land Court over Springvale Station on Cape York.

The Queensland Government bought the massive cattle station for $7 million last year.

The idea was to stop, or at least reduce, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sediment from the property washing from the West Normanby River into the Great Barrier Reef.

But it seems — in the best traditions of Yes Minister — the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing.

At the same time the Environment Department was buying the property to prevent damaging sediment flowing down the river, the Natural Resources Department was considering an application to mine the river at Springvale Station for gold and tin ore.

Now the case is before the Queensland Land Court.

In its objection, the Environment Department argues “the public right and interest will be prejudiced by the proposed mining activity as it will directly and negatively impact the biodiversity values for which the property was acquired”.

It says research suggests that “Springvale Station is the source of approximately 460,000 tonnes of sediment runoff every year, which is around 40 per cent of all gully erosion-derived sediment in the Normanby River catchment”.

The West Normanby River joins the eastern branch of the river before draining into Princess Charlotte Bay and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

“The proposed mining activity will likely further destabilise the alluvial and colluvial soils of the West Normanby River and increase soil erosion and sediment loss,” the Environment Department said in its objection.

“… The long-term economic benefits of enhancing environmental outcomes through this acquisition will far exceed the economic and employment benefits of this small mining operation.”

The department also warns sedimentation blocks light for coral, smothers marine organisms and reduces coral and seagrass growth.

It states the northern section of the reef has been significantly affected by coral bleaching, with “high levels of coral mortality”.

“For those corals to have the best chance of recovery, the water quality needs to be as good as possible,” the Environment Department wrote.

Endangered plants, animals on land: Environment Department

The State Government has already begun removing cattle from Springvale Station in a bid to reduce sediment run-off.

The Environment Department said it would invest a substantial amount of public money for conservation work on the property to further reduce run-off, with the price tag set at $30,000 a hectare.

The department also said the property was home to endangered or vulnerable flora and fauna species, including the northern quoll, red goshawk, brown antelope orchid and spectacled flying fox.

In a statement to the ABC, the Environment Department said it was the Government’s “intention that Springvale Station be declared a nature refuge”.

But it said such a declaration would “not necessarily preclude the commencement of activities proposed under the mining lease application”.

A spokesman for the Land Court said the objection to the proposed mine would be heard in August.

Hobart energy problem is damning – they’re out of water

This story is from Tasmanian radio station Heart 107.3 Hobart blog site exposing above critical water levels in main water reserves that includes hydro power generators supplying the apple isle.

Will Bob Brown walk on whats left of the water to solve this problem of Green energy in action?

Editor 

The story

Local photographers show the true picture of  TAS water reserves

As the announcement came that Basslink had finally found the broken power cable first a sigh of relief, then news that it could still be the middle of June before a resumption of ‘normal’ operations

Tasmania’s Greens are calling on the Energy Minister Matthew Groom  to give more guidance to the Tasmanian community with almost 3 months left of energy uncertainty.

Now photographs have emerged of our water reserves that remain to supply hydro power to the state and the pics show the dire situation.

Tassie photographer Matthew Holz told Heart 107.3 that he “went for a trip out to Lake Gordon to see how low the water storage levels were. I was gobsmacked to see how little water was left in the Lake.”

*Strathgordon Power Station intake tube.

 *Over looking Lake Gordon between Gordon Power station and the Lake Pedder Chalet
PICS: Matthew Holz

Photographer Mike Peters also reported he visited Lake Pedder and the Gordon Dam. “I managed to take these few photos before a group of chaps in high vis jackets and corporate 4 wheel drives suggested I leave….. I was stunned at the state of these dams. They are effectively empty”

PICS: Mike Peters [including main banner pic]

Source: http://www.heart1073.com.au/shows/dave-kylie-show/dave-kylie-blog/tasmanias-energy-crisis–the-photos-that-will-shock-you/

 

Greens only support dams for animals, humans can perish

Water is essential for all life, and happily it is abundant on our blue watery planet

by Viv Forbes, science writer

However, salty oceans cover 70% of Earth’s surface and contain 97% of Earth’s water. Salt water is great for ocean dwellers but not directly useful for most life on land. Another 2% of Earth’s water is tied up in ice caps, glaciers and permanent snow, leaving just 1% as land-based fresh water.

To sustain life on land, we need to conserve and make good use of this rare and elusive resource.

Luckily, our sun is a powerful nuclear-powered desalinisation plant. Every day, solar energy evaporates huge quantities of fresh water from the oceans. After a stop-off in the atmosphere, most of this water vapour is soon returned to earth as dew, rain, hail and snow – this is the great water cycle. Unfortunately about 70% of this precipitation falls directly back into the oceans and some is captured in frozen wastelands.

Much of the water that falls on land is collected in gullies, creeks and rivers and driven relentlessly by gravity back to the sea by the shortest possible route. Allowing this loss to happen is poor water management. The oceans are not short of water.

Some animals and plants have evolved techniques to maximise conservation of precious fresh water.

Some Australian frogs, on finding their water holes evaporating, will inflate their stomachs with water then bury themselves in a moist mud-walled cocoon to wait for the drought to break. Water buffalo and wild pigs make mud wallows to retain water in their private mud-baths, camels carry their own water supply and beavers build lots of dams.

Some plants have also evolved water saving techniques – bottle trees and desert cacti are filled with water, thirsty humans can even get a drink from the roots and trunks of some eucalypts and many plants produce drought/fire resistant seeds.

Every such natural water conservation or drought-proofing behaviour brings benefits for all surrounding plants and animals.

Tinaroo Falls Dam wall, 80klm south west of Cairns. Its 440,000 megalitre storage provides water for life, farming, hydro-electricity, human consumption and recreation. It cost $12.66 million to construct in the mid-1950’s and has returned several billion dollars and huge amounts of fresh produce to the economy

People have long recognised the importance of conserving fresh water – early settlers built their homes near the best waterholes on the creek and every homestead and shed had its corrugated iron tanks. Graziers built dams and weirs to retain surface water for stock (and fence-crashing wildlife), used contour ripping and good pasture management to retain moisture in soils, and drilled bores to get underground water. And sensible rules have evolved to protect the water rights of down-stream residents.

Rainfall is often a boom and bust affair. Much fresh water is delivered to the land surface suddenly in cyclones, storms and rain depressions. But “The Wet” is always followed by “The Dry”, and droughts and floods are normal climatic events. People who fail to store some of the flood must put up with the drought.

Greens should learn from the beavers. Strings of dams can moderate flood risk, as well as creating drought sanctuaries and secure water for graziers, towns, irrigators and wildlife. Modern cities could not survive without large water storages for drinking water, sanitation, gardens and factories.

Fresh water is also necessary to produce fresh food. We can have fresh milk, butter, cheese, meat, vegetables, nuts and fruit; or we can irrigate the oceans and import fresh food from more sensible countries. And without fresh water and fresh food, there will be no local food processing.

Those infected with the green religion believe we should waste our fresh water by allowing it all to return as quickly as possible to the salty seas. They fight to protect beaver dams and natural lakes, but persistently oppose human dams and lakes. Some even want existing dams destroyed, while wasting billions on energy-hungry desalination and sewerage re-treated plants, pumps and pipelines.

They also want to prohibit man’s production of two drought-defying atmospheric gases, both released by the burning of hydrocarbons – carbon dioxide which makes plants more drought tolerant, and water vapour which feeds the clouds and the rain.

Green water policies are un-sustainable, even suicidal.

Humans must copy the beavers and “Build more Dams”. And help the biosphere by burning more hydrocarbons.


Further Reading:


“Dung Beatles ate our Climate History” or “Droughts and Extreme Weather are Nothing New.”
by Dr Bill Johnson:

Dung beetles ate our climate-history!

Only one city water supply dam has been built in Australia in the last 30 years:

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/all_this_water_may_wash_away_our_dam_madness/

“We must reclaim the roads and plowed lands, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness tens of millions of acres of presently settled land.”David Foreman, a founder of “Earth First”.

Trickery and Puffery in climate spending claims:

Billions spent on irrelevant climate pledges: http://joannenova.com.au/2015/12/billions-of-dollars-on-irrelevant-pledges-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-the-climate/

Green Climate Fund a slush fund for dictators:

http://fee.org/articles/the-uns-green-climate-program-is-a-slush-fund-for-dictators/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fee_daily&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokuK7JZKXonjHpfsX87uokWKSg38431UFwdcjKPmjr1YEBRcZ0aPyQAgobGp5I5FEBS7TYRKtst6cMUw%3D%3D

Professor Ian Plimer in Westminster

Here is an eloquent summary of climate matters by Professor Ian Plimer, addressing a meeting organised by the Global Warming Policy Forum in a committee room in the British Houses of Parliament. (Can’t let him loose on the politicians themselves, can we?)

Also, here is a review of Ian Plimer’s latest book, “HEAVEN AND HELL” – how the Pope condemns the poor to eternal poverty:

http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2015/11/plimer-pope/

“The entire trillion dollar climate change industry rests on a single hypothetical assumption. The assumption is that emissions of CO2 by humans drive global warming. To this day there is no scientific evidence to support this assumption.”

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