(OT) Australia - Springs of hope run dry

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Springs of hope run dry

A TIMBOON dairy farming family will have to pay more than $600 a day for water when the last of their supply dries up this week.

Howard and Julie Baxter said yesterday all of their springs had petered out and they faced paying thousands of dollars to have water trucked in.

They are among the many south-west Victorian victims of unusually dry weather conditions. Timboon is 45km east of Warrnambool.

The Member for Warrnambool John Vogels said yesterday the crippling water carrier costs were enough to send struggling farmers broke. He has again approached the State Government to help assist farmers like the Baxters in their plight.

"Farmers are staring down the barrel of bankruptcy. They (government) say this is not exceptional circumstances, but what else would you call it?" he said.

Mrs Baxter said although they were not destitute, water carting would send them further into debt.

The couple, who have four young children, said some farmers were already giving up the fight.

"When we came here they said this was God's country, but it looks as though the devil's moved in," Mrs Baxter said. "Some are just too tired to fight any more, but while you have the energy you may as well kick and scream about it."

The couple said they had been able to budget feed for their stock to compensate for the drop in milk prices, but it was impossible to limit vital water usage.

Mr Baxter said he was quoted $640 minimum a day to have water carted to his property, but they had not yet worked out how many days it would take to replenish their water supply each week. Without heavy rain soon they could have to pay the high water costs for two months.

"It's been four years since we moved here and we've had to dam another spring every year. This problem hasn't come overnight," Mrs Baxter said.

"There's just no run-off. They (government) say it's not a drought, well what about an underground drought? There is no water and there should be subsidies."

Agriculture Minister Keith Hamilton said in Warrnambool last week there would be no immediate relief for drought-stricken farmers in the region because of an agreement by the previous state government with the Federal Government.

Mr Vogels said the government efforts weren't good enough. "Instead of duck-shoving, they need to provide assistance now," he said.
. . . (Report: KRISTY HESS.


Monsoon rains do not influence the Deep South where it's very dry. Weather patterns appear to change and forecasters predict a continuing dry.

This article highlights the single most pressing issue that'll face our southern regions in OZ. The political scene will be changed by how it is handled. Water is more valuable than gold or oil!!!

Regards from Down Under

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 10, 2000


Has the power shortage situation eased? Door-to-door enforcement officers on indefinite furlough yet? Can you now plug in your laptops and chill the beer?


-- Squirrel Hunter (nuts@upina.cellrelaytower), February 10, 2000.

Isn't it sad that in America, the government printed Billions of worthless dollars to just have around incase the banks went down on 010100...worthless money that the government now loans out at interest! They have duped the American people into paying interest on worthless paper...and we cannot help farmers in Down Under with the technology we have that could bring water to the surface ... It absurd! Whats happening to this world hen we can support a drug addict with new needles and medical attention for destroying his body and family...but for the hard-working man and his family...its just too bad! Thanks Pieter...

-- S BRyan G III (sbrg3@juno.com), February 10, 2000.

Transfer payment

A payment of money by the government to an individual that does not form part of an exchange but rather represents a gift without anything being received or required in return. Examples of transfer payments would include student scholarship grants, welfare checks, and social security benefits. Establishing programs providing for transfer payments from the budget to particular favored categories of the population represent one of the most direct ways in which a government may pursue policies of income redistribution.

Drug addicts have lower energy requirements than water well drilling operations. Therefore, it follows, government [transfer payments] and electricity have some thing in common, they both follow path of least resistence.

Good luck 'Down Under'.


-- bbccp (bbccp@prodigy.net), February 10, 2000.

G'Day Squirrel Tormentor,
Further power restrictions in Victoria today, but temperatures down now. Interesting news streaming through. Trying to locate info which seems to point to outrageous incompetence. Will post update tomorrow. Chilling beers for brothers again. Sitting under gumtree training galahs.....

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 10, 2000.

Just a small item of general interest. Since February 1 up to now the average temperature has been 35.9 and that happened last in 1930, seventy years ago.

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 10, 2000.

I really feel for the small stations (ranches in the W. US) with water shortages...I've seen severe conditions in California which left us hauling water for domestic use. (Baths are taken somewhat less frequently...) It's even worse trying to haul for a large herd.

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), February 10, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ