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Unjust Queensland Water Restrictions (2008)

The Courier-Mail in Brisbane today reports that there will be permanent water restrictions for households in Queensland, even after the drought has broken, and the dams are full again.  Why do households get the raw end of the pineapple, when they only account for about 5% of all water use anyway?

The pre-drought average use per household was 300 litres per person per day. However, Queensland Water Commissioner, Elizabeth Nosworthy, announced today that even when the crisis is over, and the dams are 60% full again, households will still restricted to 230 litres per person per day.  Huge fines, introduced as an emergency measure during the 4-year drought, will continue to be imposed on those who exceed their water quota.

The ludicrous part of this is, household quotas make virtually no impact on saving water.  About 75% of Queensland’s water is used by farmers, for agriculture.  20% is used by industry, which means that only about 5% is used by households.

However, households make up about 95% of the total individual users of water.  By imposing fines for excess usage, the government is on a huge money spinner in terms of revenue raising.  And they can falsely justify it as a legitimate attempt to “protect the environment”.

Elizabeth Nosworthy has proven herself time and time again to be a puppet of the Queensland government.  She has done more back flips on her policies then the entire acrobatic troupe of the Moscow Circus, always with pressure applied by the government.

The government itself has shown its contempt for the householders.  There was the referendum held in Toowoomba about using recycled water.  The residents of Toowoomba voted 90% that they did not want to drink recycled sewerage.  Bad luck said the government.  You’re getting it anyway, and so is the rest of the state.  And no, because Toowoomba democratically voted no to drinking sewerage, we’re not going to have a referendum for the rest of the state.

The government in Queensland can get away with this, because it is the only parliament in Australia that does not have a senate to keep the government in check.  Bills go directly to the State Governor, to be rubber stamped as a mere formality.  The Governor is appointed by the government, with no senate to approve or disapprove the appointment.

Water is one of the very basics of life, and we all need it for our very survival.  However, the Queensland government is using the very lifeblood of survival to bleed the four million residents of Queensland dry.

26th March 2008

About Craig Hill

Social Justice Campaigner, Writer, Teacher and Business Consultant. Lived in China and USA. Dealing with disability. My articles have been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and many other international publications. Please consider donating, to support our social justice campaign, by clicking on the "Donations Page" button in the top menu.


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