Re the flood mitigation dam, I think most of us …

Comment on Uranium mining would help to save Alice: Businessmen by Ian Sharp.

Re the flood mitigation dam, I think most of us would agree we need that.
The headworks begun at Junction Waterhole over twenty years ago are still there.
That project was designed to mitigate a 1 in a 100 year flood, the one shown on the various editions of the Flood map produced over the years.
Well worth doing, but only if done properly this time: proper consultations with the TOs, no attempt to pass a recreation lake project off as flood mitigation, put the drainage outlet down the bottom, not halfway up the dam wall.
I can remember asking the PAWA engineer about this at the big public forum at the old Sadadeen High School organized by ALEC … he said the outlet was where it was for “technical reasons”, but would elaborate no further.
A loyal public servant under instructions from his political masters. It was a con job, and when the TOs realized this, that many of the sacred sites would be more or less permanently flooded, not just briefly inundated, they backed off.
Much to the annoyance of the CLP ministers, all sorts of ugly comments from them. Then the Feds stepped in, Robert Tickner withdrew the funds and that was the end of it. This time we would need to get it right. Such a dam would be a boon to the town during most flood episodes, the ones experienced since European settlement.
But as paleo-geologists have pointed out, the huge flood-out sand sheets on the Todd “delta” past the airport indicate that much bigger floods have occurred. But we can’t build a dam for the 1 in 1000 flood, let alone the 1 in 10,000.
The risk of floods bigger than the 1 in 100 flood is real, especially as the changing climate is likely to be more volatile than what we have experienced in the last 150 years.
Not much we can do about that, but we can mitigate against smaller floods which are likely to become more frequent.

Ian Sharp Also Commented

Uranium mining would help to save Alice: Businessmen
Some comments here about businessmen wanting development for the town to benefit themselves.
That may not be wholly the case, they may also have a genuine desire to see their home town prosper, who doesn’t? (Although I’m sure we have different ideas about the type of development we prefer.)
But even if it were true, that they only want to benefit themselves, we should celebrate that. We live in a mixed economy, a free market private enterprise system with a strong government component to address the failings of the market economy.
Best of both worlds we have discovered.
The dynamism of the free market depends on harnessing the self-interest of entrepreneurs. Brush up on your Adam Smith, the Wealth Of Nations is created by self-interest seeking profits, creates social and economic benefits for us all.
Mightn’t be a popular idea with some but it injects hugely into the circular flow of income, creating production, employment, consumption expenditure – which we all benefit from – and tax revenues to governments, which enables us to have all those things the private sector doesn’t create.
We should celebrate legitimate business success in our community, more power to entrepreneurs. Feel free to debate their various suggestions, but don’t knock them for alleged self-interest. We need it.


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