The draining and bulldozing of a 1000 megalitre irrigation dam at Springvale Station south west of Cooktown by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has made a mockery of preventing sediment runoff onto the Great Barrier Reef.
Millions of litres of dam water is being siphoned from the dam directly into the East Normanby River, creating a muddy plume for many kilometres downstream, dumping thousands of tonnes of sediment onto the reef.
The East Normanby runs into the now dry West Normanby to become the Normanby River which eventually runs into Princess Charlotte Bay.
The 2016 purchase of the former cattle property by EHP drew much criticism from the farming industry when it was discovered flawed sediment runoff data was the basis for its acquisition by the government.
A spokesman for EHP Minister Stephen Miles confirmed the dam was being pumped out and millions of litres of valuable water were being discharged into the flowing East Normanby River.
Water being siphoned from the irrigation dam has cut a deep channel through the soil and is draining directly into the flowing East Normanby River(top of photo) creating massive sediment plumes kilometres downstream
The EHP has claimed the dam could fail, but adjoining landowner and former Cook Shire Mayor Graham Elmes said the dam was sound, properly built, had gone through four wet seasons and had filled easily during its first wet in 2013.
“This dam also acted as a large sediment trap filtering runoff into the river system, but when the walls are bulldozed what will happen to the 30,000 cubic metres of earth that an engineer has measured,” he said.
“It can’t be left in the excavation area because it will simply run off into the river and then Springvale actually will have a sediment runoff problem.”
KAP State leader Robbie Katter said the State Government is on a crusade against farmers.
“They are deceiving the public through misinformation and inaccurate data,” Mr Katter said.
“This is a fallacy, again derived from incorrect data and is a waste of viable, developed grazing property, which would be far better managed by a farmer than the State Government. This dam should be left intact.”
North East Regional Manager of Agforce Paul Burke was incensed that a government could undertake such “wanton waste.”
“It beggars belief that such a precious commodity could be pumped down the river when this property could have been producing a number of irrigated crops and still breeding cattle,” Mr Burke said.
The EHP spokesman claimed the dam “did not undergo a full regulatory approvals process as required by State legislation and is therefore unauthorised.
“To prevent dam failure and any subsequent downstream impacts, including contributions to sediment production within the catchment, the dam will be decommissioned and the land will be rehabilitated,” the spokesman said.
Mr Elmes was adamant the dam had been properly constructed and there was absolutely no chance the dam wall could fail.
“Bulldozing this water asset that cost $400,000 to build is totally irresponsible and an act of environmental vandalism.
“The government should stop all destructive activities on this property, freehold and subdivide it into four blocks and ballot these blocks for younger farmers,” he said.
Editor: Cook Shire Council recently added fluoride to its water supply, against the wishes of the majority of its ratepayers. Why it did this is anyone’s guess.
You’ll Never Guess What Killed $3,000,000 Worth Of Horses
(Josh Paniagua – Massreport) Well, if you pay attention to the things that are put into drinking water, you may be able to guess what killed the Justus’ horses.
Wayne and Cathy Justus have been raising quarter horses on their farm for quite some time without trouble. But come 1985, water fluoridation was introduced. Just two years after fluoridation began, Wayne and Cathy began to notice strange things happening to their horses.
At the time, what was wrong with the horses was a complete mystery, but in 2003, something in the horse’s behavior tipped them off. During the winter of 2003/2004, the Justus’s got a lot of snow. They keep a 100 gallon tank of the city’s fluoridated water outside for the horses to drink from, but once the snow came in, the horses virtually shunned the bucket of water. The bucket that was usually refilled every 24-36 hours was staying full for weeks at a time while the horses ate snow to get their water.
Interestingly enough, while the horses were eating snow and avoiding the tank of water, their symptoms began to disappear. But what happened when the snow melted away?
Cathy explains in an interview that a small ravine runs through their property when the snow is melting. In what appears to have been conscious attempts to avoid the fluoridated water, the horses began to dig small pools in which they would drink dirty, muddy water. That’s right. They went out of their way to dig holes to get muddy water to drink in order to keep from drinking the city water.
Cathy and Wayne don’t consider it a coincidence that the horses that drank the most water were the ones that got sicker faster than the rest.
“Horses on average… will drink 10-12 gallons a day. A lactating mare can actually double that amount. Ironic is the horses that we had get the sickest the quickest were the mares that were lactating,” Cathy says.
The speculation here is very much alive. It’s one thing if you’re skeptical about chemical additives in drinking water, but it’s a whole different story when animals try to avoid it completely. However, this case is not only fueled by speculation, but scientific data.
Researchers determined that the horses had in fact been poisoned by fluoride, and the only source of fluoride accessible to the horses on the entire farm was their drinking water. Their symptoms included:
· crooked legs
· hoof deformities
· reproductive issues
· hyperostosis and enostosis
· reduced bone resorption
“The foregoing clinical and morphological observations, together with the bone fluoride analyses, establish the diagnosis of chronic fluoride intoxication of horses in this study causes by consumption of artificially fluoridated drinking water.” (Lennart P Krook in a 2006 publication)
It had been confirmed. Fluoridated water killed Cathy and Wayne Justus’ 6 horses and possibly their 4 dogs. Not only did they lose their beloved animals, but each horse was worth around $500,000, making it a $3 million loss.
Cathy had been pushing the de-fluoridation of water to her water municipality, but was greeted with denial and ignorance, as they attempted to convince her that fluoride in the water was good (uh, what?). Fortunately, the citizens of Pagosa Springs rose up and demanded that fluoride be taken out of their drinking water. And in 2005, it worked.
The dangers of fluoride are not a mystery, nor a conspiracy. To put it into the simplest terms: drinking fluoride is not good for your body period. The people of Pagosa Springs are a prime example of what happens when a community is educated and decides to join together and make a change. Unfortunately, it took the deaths of animals for it to be a valid issue in the eyes of many, but nonetheless, they beat it.
Please share this around and help educate your community on the dangers of fluoridated water. Perhaps you’ll see changes in your own community!
Largest ever single native title claim LODGED IN FEDERAL COURT
Friday December 12
In Brisbane’s Federal Court yesterday the Cape York Land Council (CYLC) lodged the largest single native title claim in Australian history, covering 14.6 million hectares or 146,390 square kilometres.
The claim on behalf of nine Traditional Owners is for all the unclaimed land and inland waters for the entirety of Cape York. The applicants are Mike Ross, Silva Blanco, Wayne Butcher (Mayor of Lockhart River), James Creek, Clarry Flinders, Jonathan Korkaktain, Philip Port, Hogan Shortjoe and Reginald Williams.
When coupled with the 53,990 square kms already determined on the Cape, all land and inland waters of Cape York will be either determined as native title, or under claim.
The entire Cape York Peninsula has been claimed by the indigenous-owned Cape York Land Council. The CYLC has in the past been accused of financial irregularities and entrenched corruption. An auditor’s report recommended the CYLC be prosecuted for corruption several years ago but was buried by the then Liberal Government. Cairns News believes it is time for the report to be published. An article will appear on Cairns News in due course.
And when added to the vast areas transferred to Aboriginal ownership under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 (QLD), all significant activity on the Cape will require the consent of the Traditional Owners.
This includes mining and other major projects.
“This means the Traditional Owners of the Cape will be the real masters of development and use of their lands,” said Riche Ah Mat, Chairman of the Cape York Land Council.
“Traditional Owners can now reconnect with country, and also ensure we can use our lands so our futures are bright with economic opportunity, not blighted by continued welfare dependence.”
Applicant and Mayor of Lockhart River, Wayne Butcher, said it was a great day for the Cape’s traditional owners.
“I acknowledge the hard work of our elders,” he said.“We have lost too many elders during our struggle. The single claim will mean we can get our rights before we lose any more. We are one people, and we will continue the fight together.
“This claim ensures that traditional owners of each area continue to speak for their traditional lands.”
Elder and chair of the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation, Mike Ross, said the claim would ensure traditional owners across the Cape had a real say in what happened on their traditional lands.
“The Cape is under lots of pressure from mining and other interests, and it is important that traditional owners stand up and make decisions on the future uses of their lands.
“Coupled with the transfer of freehold, this native title claim makes our historic ties to the land clear.”
CYLC has undertaken an extensive consultation process to have this enormous claim authorised according to the requirements of the Native Title Act 1993, and will continue to consult with Traditional Owners.
CYLC has already commenced the consultation process with other stakeholders, including the QLD Government and shire councils.
Mr Ah Mat said there was no reason why the outcome of the claim could not be a win-win for all Cape York people and organisations.
“This can provide enormous efficiencies for Traditional Owners, miners, government and other stakeholders,” he said.
CYLC is working to ensure it is in a position to efficiently process the anticipated increase in the number of applications from developers, tourism operators, miners and governments for activities affecting native title.
Native Title grant great loss to cattle industry
Largest ‘pig pen’ and ‘tinder box’ in the world
The hand-over of five large cattle properties covering 633,630 hectares (1,565,066 acres) to the Olkola Aboriginal group and national parks will have a significant, harmful impact on the Far North cattle industry according to a remaining grazier on Cape York Peninsula.
Strathmay, Crosbie, Dixie, Wulpan and Killarney all former breeding properties ran a combined 20,000 head of cows and calves vital to the survival of the northern industry.
A surviving cattle producer, who declined to be named said the transfer of ownership was a tragedy for the industry which had been in decline for years due to previous losses of dozens of Pastoral Holdings to national parks when leases fell due.
To date more than 3.2million hectares of the once vibrant Cape York Peninsula have been given to Aboriginal Prescribed Body Corporations and parks.
“A lot of this started with the Labor Party government and has been continued by the Liberals which is having a bad effect on the few of us left here,” the grazier said.
“Thirty years ago the Peninsula used to run up to a million head and was a strong and vibrant industry that could be relied on to breed steers for the Mareeba saleyards and then the live export market, but now the saleyards has lost most of its store numbers and not many store cattle buyers come to the sale.
“There are no successful indigenous-owned cattle properties on the Peninsula right now because they are so poorly managed and do not have the ability to source adequate finance to stock these places.
“Even if there were large numbers of breeders available for sale experience shows southern or western cattle cannot acclimatise if taken to Peninsula properties.
“There have been cases where thousands of introduced cattle have perished over the years because of the harsh and unique grazing environment up here.
“Now that we have lost tens of thousands of our breeder stock I doubt the Peninsula will ever again become a source of reliable store cattle available for southern fattening properties.”
Deputy chairwoman of the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation, Elaine Price said it would be a proud occasion when the properties are formally handed over on December 10 in Cooktown.
“The younger industry may be happier to do tourism rather than the cattle industry because the cattle industry’s so hard today. It will be nice for us to have our family back on country,” Mrs Price told the Cairns Post.
The Cape York Peninsula Land Use Study (CYPLUS) of the 1980’s recommended the larger Cape York Peninsula area be converted to national park or Aboriginal ownership and this plan has been almost achieved.
“The Peninsula will now become the biggest pig pen and tinder box in the world,” the grazier said.