Another peculiar comment Alex, do you ever have a thought …

Comment on LETTER: Water debate 21 years ago – similar in substance, but not in tone by Steve Brown.

Another peculiar comment Alex, do you ever have a thought of your own or do you get everything you know from old news papers, I wonder.
And of course what a wonderful source of information, because obviously whatever is written in them has to be true, doesn’t it, just like all that stuff we see on TV.
However just a polite suggestion read more than just the headlines if you had you may have come up with the fact that we were short of water because Mereenie wasn’t fully online at that time, just like I said.
I know because I was there and involved at the time and I talk to others who were also involved at the time and guess what Alex, now that I’ve written this in a newspaper it’s also true and of course if you read your own comment so is that!
Gees its all so confusing. Can anyone out there imagine someone in twenty years’ time researching something about 2012 by reading the Centralian Advocate headlines of the past 12 months? What an amazing story they’d come up with, and all true!
Alex you have to learn the lessons of history as you go through life, you have to carry those lessons with you put those lessons to work in practical ways, sitting musing upon how similar everything is 20 years after the event will almost certainly see history repeat itself. You actually have to do something, in order to break the cycle! Alex, you are trapped in Ground Hog Day!

Steve Brown Also Commented

LETTER: Water debate 21 years ago – similar in substance, but not in tone
The Development at white Gums was put on hold by Delia Lawrie Minister for Lands at the time, for purely political reasons. The excuse, Alice Springs Quote, “Doesn’t have enough infrastructure to support it.” Yes another blatant political excuse for further stifling growth in Alice to justify the ongoing neglect of our region.
“Yep another wonderful contribution to The Centre from Labor Hey Bob? The project was put on hold for review by Government, “In 18 months,” Delia said. A review which of course was never undertaken.
Bob’s comment tries to make it appear as if there was something a bit crook about this project which by the way was worth some 150 million dollars to the Alice Springs economy.
Just imagine what a difference that would make right now! Of course there were questions raised, advice given, experts called in. There was a very rigorous process that had to be gone through before this project could be approved. Fortunately, all those involved including Planning were both enthusiastic and helpful, well knowing the advantages the project had both for our economy and in creating more lifestyle choices for Alicespringsites.
Between all of us the questions that had to be asked were answered, the project receiving huge support and was for all practical purposes under way until Delia stopped it!
Bob, you might be interested to know that apart from the obvious questions about sewage disposal for the project one of the questions that had to be answered was about drainage, both surface and subsurface water.
The below ground drainage question had to be answered specifically in relation to being a possible pollutant to the “Mereenie Recharge Water”.
A recharge that our water activists and certain government owned enterprises are trying to allude doesn’t happen!
Bit odd that, don’t you think? Our experts were easily able to assure government that there was no risk in this manner from our project as the underground drainage of the White Gums Illparpa Valley is actually east along the ranges, hence the project was able to receive the OK.
During discussions about possible pollution of the Mereenie water supply by our project we felt entitled to ask why if the White Gums project was a threat, why wasn’t draining the entire town’s sewage directly over the top of Mereenie? We were rather gruffly assured it wasn’t because Mereenie is mined water and there is no recharge. Yet at the same time the drag strip just across the way was held up for an indefinite period by the same department because of a fear of pollution!
Seems like Labor was bound and determined to do whatever it took to stifle our town, Bob. By the way don’t you have some involvement with Labor, Bob? But to answer your question about the ongoing White Gums Project I recently spoke to my dad, Jim Brown, who owns the land in question about reinstating the project, but sadly for Alice Springs it now appears likely that this project will never come to fruition as he is reviewing his intentions for this land.
Yet another tragic loss for the Alice Springs economy at the hands of Labor!
Rather curious how questions and answers around Mereenie all seem to arrive at a point that doesn’t require any further investment, don’t you think?
And how come that if oil can filter down through the soil and rocks to pollute Mereenie, that water can’t do the same thing to recharge it? Just curious.

LETTER: Water debate 21 years ago – similar in substance, but not in tone
Gees Alex, talking about ill mannered outbursts lacking in facts. It may not seem like it Alex, but time really is going by! Yes there can appear to be some similarity in events for those caught up in contemplating the past, naval gazing, blissfully unaware of today’s events happening around them. The events may appear to be similar but they really are quite different. The restrictions that were being discussed at that time you mention were in play because this was the time when we “were running out of water”! From the town basin!
We were still in the process of developing the Mereenie borefield and the connecting pipeline. So at that time Alex we really were nearly out of water! As opposed to this occasion when there is enormous quantities of water available!
Yet restrictions are being talked about because of a few behind the scenes agendas one being the blow-in enviro Nazi mindset of which I have spoken, possibly being skilfully played by a bureaucracy intent on holding back the development of our town, in order to make today’s bottom line look better!
Regardless of the consequences for our future in amenity, employment, affordability, in short, there are consequences across the board if these agendas are allowed to proceed unhindered. My commonsense approach Dave is not to have restrictions unless they are actually needed, but certainly to take a hard look at what is going on behind the scenes so that we as a community can reach our own conclusions!
Make our own decisions about where we are going. My family and I have held a long association with the development of our water supply; we were apprised of much of the input into the Water Strategy and as such are very well aware of both the science and the lack of science that went into its make-up.
Alice Water Strategy was released a few years ago, Alice News and myself commented on it at the time. Let’s keep in mind that strategy, upon which I commented at the time, was to constricting and short-sighted, even so still allowed that we had hundreds of years of water even without recharge. And that it would support a lot larger town as well as a large agricultural precinct!
Given that the town has hardly grown in the past few years, and given that we haven’t even started to set up a large agricultural precinct, and that the strategy was only released a few years ago, don’t you think we should be asking “What’s Changed”? Rather than sitting by while those who simply don’t care make decisions about our town’s future for you! The same people who have been in charge of our town’s disastrous neglect all along! For a town that exists now to a large extent on welfare that agricultural precinct offered huge opportunities in employment in horticulture, bush foods and particularly the cut flower market it offered hope dignity affordability all the things that we need to put this town “Back on its Feet”! As a “Free Enterprise Town”! Where the word “Welfare is seldom heard”!
“Yeh”, and a few final comments, the word ENVIRONAZI describes perfectly, fanatics who regard the wants, needs and lives of human beings as secondary to their own agendas of personally saving the world even though they know absolutely nothing about it, they just know that everybody else is the enemy. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Nazis of Germany! Attempts to make it appear so are pathetic, also a clear demonstration by those involved in this criticism of their selfish irresponsibility in upholding freedom of speech within our nation the very thing that protects them from those kinds of regimes – something worth reflecting on “Heh”? I also quite clearly labelled it a mentality! One that is understood and recognised across this nation and is referred to in articles in all kinds of media every day.
So no apology as I never intended and did not associate it with any individual. If some Individual feels that I am describing them perhaps they should take the time to take a long hard look at themselves and their contribution to our society.
I am not overbearing Alex I am quite simply completely intolerant of blind stupidity!
More add-ons, I along with half the town were once employed by Herman Weber. Bloody good bloke but I don’t recall him being all that backward in coming forward Alex!
But to the best of my knowledge he joined the CLP a little later on after its foundation by the likes of my dad, Jim Brown, my uncle, Bernie Kilgariff, Len Kittle, Damien Miller, Tony Greatorex, Roger Vale, probably a few more but not Mr Weber.

Recent Comments by Steve Brown

West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
@ Alex Hope: So Alex do you think Parks is achieving its purpose now! Is the buffel eradicated? Is the flora and fauna in a better state than when it was a pastoral lease?
Is the park in a condition that we can show it to the world in order to attract the tourists who fund our economy? Have we protected near extinct species?
To just what level of destruction to you propose we go in chasing what some see as a weed and what others know is actually a highly beneficial grass?
At what stage do you stop this battle against grass and look behind you to see the horrific damage that has been done?
By the time the mentality which you espouse is through, if left to run unchecked, there will only be vast fields of buffel grass left all our native animals, trees, shrubs and grasses will be gone, driven into the ground through the actions of irresponsible idiots.
Sensible licensed grazing by shepherded animals is a practical tool that will not only protect the park to a much greater degree from fire but can also add to the park’s attractiveness for visitors, locals running mobile Dude ranch activities and the like.
Parks are for people Alex, not for the sole use of left wing ideologues hell bent on proving some political point at any expense!
As for Illparpa Rd … you are kidding aren’t you? To keep buffel out of that tiny area quite literally thousands of litres of highly toxic now thought to be carcinogenic sprays has and is being used on a continual basis!
So just how much chemical and how much man power would we need for the park, do you think?

Park fire protection: new management plan doesn’t spell it out
The worst thing about these kinds of documents and plans is that in a world of cut and paste they go on and on often returning to the original. No learning. No advancement.
At least one and probably both of the major fire instances to which the document refers were started by prescribed burning!.
I suspect this latest fire or at least its continuation is also very much down to prescribed burning practices! The Lesson: Prescribed burning puts our parks at much greater risk of wildfire”! And if those traditional owners could only see what their words have led to in practice, they would be utterly horrified!
Time for an inquiry and a whole new plan, along with an extinction event for the original.

West MacDonnells blaze: sorrow and questions
Yes, well its clearly evident the fire management strategies as set out have been thrown all to hell and completely ignored for a considerable period of time.
As a result the damage done to the Western Macs, particularly the eastern end, is immeasurable, horrific, particularly when you take into account present weather outlook.
Whatever wildlife is left will probably starve. This may well be an extinction event for some species, as the ranges are very much the last refuge for some.
Just a few short years of park mismanagement have done more damage than 200 years of heavy stocking even overstocking could.
It’s time for an open public inquiry into the land use and management of this area, which is of strategic importance to the future of our environment, our tourism sector and our pastoralists on the extremities.
Tourism in the Centralian region was founded not on Ayers Rock as many might imagine, but on the Western Macs! They are of the utmost importance to our future!
We cannot let this moment pass without questioning all that has taken place.
I like others share a deep sense of sadness and loss at this devastation, trees and habitat that were literally hundreds of years old in the most precious of places have gone!
It will take centuries without devastating fire in these places to replace them! That is how immense the loss is!
So let’s not waste our time on apologies and excuses, let’s get to the bottom of this thing, let’s have a long hard look at the value of advice and management practices that led us to this place, then figure out a better way of doing things from this time on.

West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
@ Alex Hope: My very point. It only does harm when you burn it! Not quite sure what’s so hard to understand. It’s simple: You must not burn buffel except when absolutely necessary – back burning, for example.
Patch burning does every-bit as much harm as a major fire and because its mandated in park management it does more harm because its repeated so often, accumulating damage upon existing damage until there is complete loss of anything but buffel.
Further, because of the fire happy culture that’s grown up around this practice, we are seeing a more and more reckless use of the method where we see fire actually being extended, run on, instead of being put out!
Even on days declared as catastrophic risk! In complete contravention of the Act!
The damage being inflicted in the idiotic hell bent fervour to eradicate Buffel is both horrific and completely self defeating.
Because burning suits the buffel and not our native plants.
Despite popular fiction our native plants do not recover well from fire!
With our variable rainfall it can take many years. When you destroy trees hundreds of years old, it takes hundreds of years to replace them!
So after yet another fire disaster, it might just be about time to stop and think a little deeper don’t you think.
The safest way, the least destructive way to deal with buffel is by grazing it, and you should keep in mind that it’s not only the large herd animals that eat it, much of our wildlife has also come to depend upon it.
Further, buffel is a grass. Any attempt to eradicate it by the introduction of a beetle grub or the like would be putting all our grasses at risk, along with our food security and the economy of the nation.

West Macs fire mitigation critically inadequate: Scientist
If I got out a dozer and flattened my house because I was worried about the wind knocking it over, would you understand that that is actually a pretty dam stupid thing to do?
You would … so then understand that in burning grass before it can burn is every bit as stupid, especially when it results in exactly the outcome you claim to be protecting against!
Burning grass of all kinds, not just buffel, in places where it is not a threat to physical assets and human life is a completely unnecessary and extremely destructive thing to do.
The constant burning of country that is being undertaken suits buffel to a tee … you are actually assisting its dominance while destroying all other vegetation!
Despite popular fiction, our trees and shrubs let alone native wildlife, struggle to recover from burning. Burn them two years in a row and they are gone. Guess what replaces them?
I have lived at White Gums, once a dairy farm which now runs beef cattle right next door to Simpsons Gap for 65 years this year.
I drive through it several times a day. I have watched it progress from cattle station to national park.
I watched it through the early years when Bob Darken and others who actually new that land oversaw it
I watched it gradually recover from overstocking and I watched it through the seventies and eighties as buffel colonised the once bare ground.
I watched years later as the moron mentality took hold, the uni-trained experts indoctrinated with cultural garbage and the lefty politics of envy brought this vile culture of burning to life.
Since that time, I’ve watched the complete destruction of what was once a World Heritage level park by burning.
Everyone should understand, it’s not just buffel grass that is burnt! Everything is burnt!
These guys aren’t just burning fire breaks, they burn the entire country!
This reckless irresponsible and ongoing assault on our National Park has led to the destruction of shrubs, trees and wildlife including the vary rare colonies of possums … all gone to deliberate lit, poorly controlled fire.
Once upon a time our ranges were covered with shrubs and trees. They are gone. Killed not by buffel grass but by burning it!
At White Gums every year we get deliberately lit fires which we put out. They rarely do much damage because we graze the grass. This is the natural, sensible way to control buffel that leaves trees and shrubs intact.
And it generates an income! Yes, money! That stuff many of us have to earn so that those dependent on the public purse get paid.
Of course there are fires that occur constantly from lightening ect.
Yes, they burn country however the now rampart culture of burning often sees these fires extended rather than being extinguished.
The attitude is: “We might as well burn it while we are here.”
You have to work alongside these guys to realise the ridiculous levels to which this anti buffel thing has taken us.
We run cattle so on a number of occasions we’ve had to stop the burning out of whole grassy paddocks trying to make them understand that grass is food!
That food translates to a big part of the Territory’s earned income and its not only domestic animals that depend upon it.
Buffel is here. We need to learn to live with it. Buffel does little or no harm, improves our soils, lessens run off and raises overall food production enormously.
Because it contains more energy it also burns hotter than native grasses, destroying native trees and shrubs as a result.
Its ability for rapid regrowth allows it to dominate other species after a fire, so the more you burn, the fewer trees and shrubs survive and the more buffel you get!
So guys, don’t burn it. Put the fires out like you’re supposed to.
Graze the grass and leave our country presentable for both ourselves, our tourists and especially our native wildlife.

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