Southern Argus, 12 February 2009

The Editor

The Southern Argus


12th February 2009


Claims in the press by the Honourable Rob Brokenshire MLC (The Southern Argus 12.2.09 and The Times 5.2.09) that 20 to 30 Gigalitres of water would avert the current crisis in the Lower Lakes are just plain wrong. His numbers don’t add up.

I can understand how passionate people who are anxious about the environment might overlook difficult facts, but for an experienced politician to ignore readily available data and to perpetuate myths for his own political gain is highly irresponsible and in my view a disgrace.

These lakes are very large and it would take eight Gigalitres to raise their level by a mere one centimetre. With Lake Alexandrina about a metre below sea level and falling fast, Mr Brokenshire is telling us that a few centimetres worth of water would enable the Lakes “to get through the summer” - when that amount of water evaporates in less than a week.

When Minister Maywald refers to the facts and tells us that unfortunately there is no easy solution to the current crisis we may not like that message but the numbers tell the story and we ignore them at our peril.

Those who won’t face the reality of continuing drought and who oppose what must be done to minimise the harm, run the risk of exacerbating this environmental disaster to the detriment of the very environment they claim to value.

[name withheld]