MARK M ALDRIDGE - "voice of the Community" Community Advocate
Water destruction, out of sight out of mind.click to see the expose "Bore holes"


THE RANN GOVERNMENT ALLOWS WATER THEFT AND DESTRUCTION OF OUR RESOURCES.


While we all worry about the once mighty Murray, our water supply and infrastructure is being destroyed.

So what could we all have missed? Our water use is far from restricted to rivers and our vintage water storage reservoirs, which have been the center of attention over what seems to be a lifetime (ok a decade or so).

Lack of water infrastructure to keep up with population growth has seen many a farm being destroyed and the resulting importation of produce to make up for the short fall, to date the media have stayed tuned to the Murray river, as a picture paints a thousand words.

Our food bowl in many areas of our state, is also somewhat reliant on underground aquifers of a variety of kinds, and of course we are all somewhat reliant on the under ground infrastructure like pumps and piping.

When you are investigating the true condition of such resources and you hear statements from the professionals like “they are in real strife” or “say goodbye to whole regions” before you tell them what you have uncovered, what seemed a problem becomes a massive crisis.

We have all regularly heard about our bursting water mains, rarely do we consider that so much of it is over 100 years old, with no upgrades in sight, but what we do not see is the state of one of our largest natural water storage systems, our aquifers.

Innovations like the Salisbury wetlands recycling of storm water have been regularly commended on the world stage, yet why did our Premier Mr. Rann ignore this proven system to water proof our state, even with the offer before him several years ago to supply a majority of the State, he opted in favor of the possible environmental damaging and cost prohibitive Desalination plant? (Another story in itself)

Even worse is the Question as to why South Australian State Governments Water information Webs sites on these issues, suddenly became inactive at the same time Mike Rann’s Government came to power? (http://www.anra.gov.au/topics/water/management/sa/gmu-great-artesian-basin-south-australia.html

The attached site clearly defines the poor condition of our underground water back in 2002, and in particular the Great Arterial Basin, which was then capped at 600,000 ml, and advise was to restrict further use of its resource, interesting enough this site became in active at the same time the Rann government took power, the next link shows underground water resources are no longer on the agenda and/or hidden from view http://sa.gov.au/subject/Water+and+the+environment 

My research on the issue is much more damning of the situation, and when you get to the final findings, we could easily say that another of our gifts of nature, is somewhat destroyed along with it many rural farms an communities, with the blame lying solely with the Rann Government.

The experts who I have spoken with, quote a sustainable yield of 16GL in the northern plains and lucky for us the use is usually around 12GL, but the allocation is some 26GL, so in times of drought, like right now, the system can be abused, and it bloody well has.

So here comes the “Big Story” what would happen if suddenly our government allowed a huge increase in un metered bores, that were sucking some 100 million plus liters a day, on top of the increase in local somewhat illegal access and tampering with meters?

The result would be the destruction of another major water resource and the many farmers and growers reliant on its use, further more what if at the same time the system was also being irreversibly poisoned?

To really add to our concerns would be if the professionals that had the ability to not only save the system but utilize its use to water proof our state, were being ignored by those we elect to protect it, making matters worse even the experts were being deliberately kept in the dark?

South Australia the driest state in one of the driest continents and we have a government whose mission seems, to destroy what little resources we have left, be ignorant of infrastructure demands and deliberately cover up the fact.

The $600 million dollar Northern Express Way contract was awarded to the NZ Company Fulton Hogan, who awarded the labor contract to a Victorian Company MC Services Group. Why South Australian workers have been left out of the big picture is another story in itself, the Victorian Number plates adorn most vehicles out north at the moment.

The Rann Government were well aware of the huge amounts of water needed to fulfill the construction, yet left the problem in the laps of the construction company, Salisbury Council offered to supply their needs through its wet land recycling scheme, but never heard back from them, so where are they getting their water?

SA Water’s infrastructure in the area is unable to meet demand, even my property is on a very restricted flow, and so we are reliant on a trickle feed to a tank, which we then pump to our home. As expected the Construction Company are profit motivated, so needed to find a cheap reliable source of water.

So the bastards decided to simply take it. Worse they do so from a source that is unable to recover from their deliberate attack. HHmmmm many farms out here have already had to sink deeper bores, to access water that used to be so much closer to the surface, the business’s that drill the bores are now booked out for over 2 years, and with the SA Government no longer monitoring the situation (another story) “Real Strife” has become an understatement.

Looking further into our underground water supplies, withstanding over use and theft, is one of quality, many growers have been forced onto reclaimed supplies, via Bolivar, this water has also had some quality issues, and has forced some sections of food production to over water to reduce damage to their trees and crops, resulting in dragging increased levels of salt into the underground supplies.
On my property, tree’s that are hundreds of years old are now dead or dying due to either lack of water in the aquifer, or increased salt. Many other crops in the area are surviving on the edge.

By the Time I took to investigating the situation, many of the illegal bores had been pulled up, or so I thought, many residents would have seen a few, like the on one the corner of Wooma and Heaslip rd, the first to go, but my video is full of images of un metered bores, all hidden from public view.

Stopping to chat with some locals, I received even more information of illegal bores sucking millions of liters of water a day since the construction of the expressway started in mid 2008, but this is but the tip of the iceberg. There are many stories of Fulton Hogan employees, sinking un-metered bores on the properties of local growers, with the pay of for their silence being the promise “You can have the infrastructure once we have left” adding to the long term over use, at the aquifers expense.

Construction of the new expressway and the associated land acquisition (another horror story for some) opened up avenues for storm water recycling, huge burrow pits could have all harvested storm water, and the wet lands projects of Salisbury’s Colin Pitman could have harvested huge amounts of water to help both recharge the aquifer and be stored for future use, as well as being a big bonus to both environmental issues and wildlife habitat restoration, yet here they were trucking in soil to back fill?

Some of these pits infringed on the aquifers a process very much frowned upon, yet what happened is again hidden from view. 

Insiders have also raised concerns as to the structural integrity of the project, and the speed limits of 40kph on the over passes, seems to support their accusations, other issues raised including damage to native habitats, excessive use of lime in the construction, and various corruption accusations are also valid from my personal experience.

I was offered a bitumen drive way worth some $15,000 for only $2000 cash of course, the foreign workers here on a visa, said “ the government are subsidizing their work” with a mighty smile.

Since Mike Rann came to power, we have a task on our hands to come up with a list of infrastructure successes other than the tram system, which he is still trying to get right, and of course the Northern Expressway, which I am sure they are rushing to complete before the March election and the Creeks Pipe line Company, which he has chosen to remain silent on. HHMmmmm

Most of us have seen the results of our dying river systems, and the associated millions of dollars squandered on talkfests rather then initiatives, so just how much damage is being done to our unseen essential water supplies and associated infrastructure. Further why has the past practice of multiple testing of water quality in some case’s been reduced to once every 7 years?

Our regional communities would be well aware of the results of being out of the spot light in regards to governmental policy, usually paying more for less, in some case’s their water supplies even from SA Water are bordering on disaster, so what will happen if aquifers like the Great artesian Basin are destroyed, what does Mr. Rann have as a contingency plan or does he not care?

Dare we consider the fact that while the riverbanks are collapsing from abuse of our river system, what will happen to property over our aquifers?

Their needs to be an immediate enquiry into not only the state of our aquifers, the condition of what’s left of the stored water, but most of all the lack of protection by those employed to ensure it’s survival.

While the communities are coming together to save every drop of precious water, our government and big business treat it with contempt, making matters worse, one is only interested in short term profit, the other the period between elections, where as our long term future is totally ignored.

It has become apparent that every section of society is facing it’s own water supply disasters, from mining contamination in regional areas, over allocation and abuse of our natural water supply’s and out right lack of commitment from both our service suppliers and consecutive State and Federal Governments.

Forecast population growth will only add to our woes, so Immediate steps must be taken today and I do not mean more false promise, Water must become our Number one Priority over all else, Water, Food and Power are our most essential services, and with out water we have nothing.

As an Independent MLC Candidate I demand action now, investigate our waters security, restart regular testing regimes, ensure allocation is in line with recharge forecasts, and bring to justice those deliberately abusing their trust, and I think that includes some of those supposedly representing our future. 

Supporting evidence is available upon request, many witnesses and video proof is also available, a commission into this situation is essential to bring to justice those abusing our life line resources, and to ensure appropriate measures are put in place to rejuvenate the system, Salisbury Council has lead the way, so lets employ them to oversee its future.

Mark M Aldridge
Independent MLC Candidate
P O Box 1073 Virginia S.A. 5120
08 82847482 / 0403379500
aldridgemark@bigpond.com
www.markmaldridge.com
www.howtovoteinsa.net




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