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The Lifeblood of Australia's Outback

World  (tags: conservation, destruction, ecosystems, environment, habitat, habitatdestruction, nature, humans, protection, politics, Sustainabililty, water, world, wildlife )

- 1859 days ago -
The Lake Eyre Basin serves as Australia's internal drainage system and is fed by some of the world's last unregulated river systems. Unfortunately, the law protecting this region is in jeopardy. The Queensland Government is considering opening the area

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Teresa W (782)
Friday March 22, 2013, 3:10 pm
noted, thank you

JL A (281)
Friday March 22, 2013, 3:11 pm
Protecting the Life Blood of Australia's Outback

Mar 14, 2013
Outback Australia, Outback Australia - Channel Country
Contact: Brandon MacGillis, 202.887.8830

Covering one-sixth of Australia, the Lake Eyre Basin is the life blood of the continent’s Outback. It acts as an enormous internal drainage system for the continent and is fed by some of the world's last unregulated river systems.

Cooper Creek and the Diamantina and Georgina rivers make up what is known as Channel Country, flowing inland to fill Lake Eyre in one of the planet’s most spectacular natural phenomena.

Lake Eyre Basin

The Lake Eyre Basin is etched into the folklore of the Outback. It is where the famous Australian poet Banjo Paterson wrote in 1889 that the title character in “Clancy of the Overflow” had gone “a-droving”:
And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.

- Banjo Paterson, "Clancy of the Overflow"
After heavy rainfall, the Channel Country’s rivers flood across hundreds of miles, spreading water from the Outback’s tropical north to its arid center. These rivers are the lifeblood of Australia’s grazing industry and the region’s Indigenous people. The basin is also critical for wildlife, particularly water birds that migrate from around the world to breed and feed when the waters flow.

Because the Channel Country’s rivers are so important, the Queensland Parliament passed the Wild Rivers Act in 2005. The act resulted from efforts by a diverse group of grazers, Aboriginal landowners, scientists, and environmentalists to pressure the Queensland Government to protect the state’s healthy river systems. The act safe guards the region’s rivers from new large-scale development projects, such as mining, large dams, and irrigated agriculture.

But the Queensland Government elected last year is considering rewriting the act to allow irrigators and miners access to the Lake Eyre Basin. This could be disastrous for the rivers’ natural function, for wildlife, and for Queensland’s multimillion-dollar grazing industry.

"The Lake Eyre Basin must be protected," said Barry Traill, who directs Pew’s Australia program. "Any type of irrigation and mining would cause serious and permanent damage to this unique and essential region.”

“Indigenous people want permanent protection from mining and irrigation for the rivers that fill Lake Eyre and the floodplains of Channel Country.”
- Scott Gorringe, Traditional Owner

The basin has already experienced the devastation that mining accidents can cause. In 2009, a huge spill from the Lady Annie copper mine near Mount Isa released highly toxic waste into Channel Country rivers. Weakening the Wild Rivers Act would put more of the basin at risk of a similar disaster.

The threat of mining and irrigation has caused a diverse group consisting of grazers from throughout the basin, Traditional Owners, tourism operators, water scientists, and policy experts to reach an agreement calling for a special Act of Parliament to preserve the Wild Rivers Act.

“There has been more than a decade of consultation about the future of the Lake Eyre Basin,” said Scott Gorringe, a Traditional Owner from the Mithika people on Cooper's Creek. “Indigenous people want permanent protection from mining and irrigation for the rivers that fill Lake Eyre and the floodplains of Channel Country.”

Past Member (0)
Friday March 22, 2013, 5:00 pm
there is so much mining in Australia because everywhere is so rich in minerals but something has to be protected from mining Hope it happens


Kit B (276)
Friday March 22, 2013, 5:21 pm

It's hard to believe that with all that is happening to our world, the obvious evidence that ending these bans would be a disaster. Australians are a hearty bunch, they will rise up to defeat this.

JL A (281)
Friday March 22, 2013, 5:23 pm
You are welcome Teresa.
You cannot currently send a star to Carol because you have done so within the last day.
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Terry V (30)
Friday March 22, 2013, 6:17 pm
Nothing is sacred when it comes to greed..........

Tamara Hayes (185)
Friday March 22, 2013, 6:35 pm
What part of toxic disaster does the mining industry not understand? Why in the world would Queensland even consider something so drastically stupid. It seems as though history is doomed to repeat itself to the detriment of all. I sincerely hope they pull the heads out of their asses and look at the big picture before they do something so reckless and irresponsible. I truly have come to despise the word mining. And drilling, and fracking and big oil and ......Thanks J.L.

JL A (281)
Friday March 22, 2013, 6:45 pm
You are welcome Tamara.
You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last day.
You cannot currently send a star to Tamara because you have done so within the last day.

John B (185)
Friday March 22, 2013, 8:20 pm
Thanks J.L. for the informative post. The majority party in the new Queensland parliament, the Liberal National Party (LNP), sounds like the GOP here in the US when it comes to the Australian environment. I would hope the local grazers from the basin, Traditional Owners, tourism operators, water scientists, policy experts and the Indigenous people will prevail in getting permanent protection for the basin from the mining and irrigation interests. Read and noted.

JL A (281)
Friday March 22, 2013, 8:25 pm
You are welcome John. I see the similarities you mention. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last day.

De D (96)
Friday March 22, 2013, 10:22 pm
This area needs continued government protection.

Sherri G (128)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 1:47 am
It is not comforting to know that Australia suffers some of the same ignorance as America regarding deregulation. Deregulating anything benefits only those who want to use this planet to promote their own self interest. Come on Australia fight deregulation on every turn.

. (0)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 9:21 am
Why should we be surprised? It's SOP to cut off the life giving supply to maximize profit the world over. The Big Five will have their way regardless unless the people stop them.

. (1)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 11:59 am
When will we stop placing the fate of our precious lands and waters in the hands of politicians who have no knowledge but for what they are told about conservation and preservation..."when will they ever learn...when will they ever learn?" LLS Thanks for posting this story.

Sandra ;atterson (59)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:39 pm
Noted,thank you

JL A (281)
Saturday March 23, 2013, 3:52 pm
You are welcome Lindi and Sandra.

Frans Badenhorst (582)
Monday March 25, 2013, 5:01 am
this is an amazing post, I learned a LOT here JL, thanks - this is a very very very sensitive area and I'm afraid ANY human involvement there (even if it's for "good") will be detrimental.....
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