I was associated with the development of the Australian Democrats’ …

Comment on Federal study casts light on future source of town water by Trevor Shiell.

I was associated with the development of the Australian Democrats’ water development policy in the late 70s and the sad fact from that and a universal truth is that the salts contained in any water do not evaporate.
Salt interception schemes along the Murray basin are an expensive but inevitable consequence. Yet we once more fail to look at experiences elsewhere in the world and their remedies.
Israel is producing a ton of potable water from waste using nano technology for under 60 cents a tonne while we use scarce and expensive fossil water to remove our own waste and then treat the water as a waste product! What are we doing?
Elsewhere in Australia sewerage is being used to grow highly nutritious algae for cattle fodder Tasmania and other places have greenhouse technology down to a fine art and are producing bulk food without extravagant use of water just as Sundrop is doing.
This facility at Pt Augusta is producing lots of food from water with water far saltier than ours, and supplying the whole of a major supermarket chain with tomatoes Australia wide with just few hectares. Further up the Murray harvesting the salt is proving lucrative. Once more where were we when all this was happening?

Recent Comments by Trevor Shiell

Stuart statue should have King Charley as opposite
Great idea. It should be South of the town at the welcome rock and a part of a brand new tourism precinct based around the cultural /art center at or near Yirara with the student involvement, and a brand new up to speed visitors center at the Transport Hall of Fame as has happened at Winton and elsewhere.
The “Big” feature should also recognise the contribution made by the Afghan cameleers, making it a three way thing. We need to recognise the past but not live in it to the neglect of what lies ahead.
I note that buried under the sand in coastal Victoria, appears to be the wreck of an ancient Chinese vessel.
Perhaps we had a near miss well before the arrival of the Europeans and even be grateful for small mercies.

A touch of light: Willy wagtail, the gardeners’ friend
As a child growing up in the SA Riverland we had a very dear and good old Indigenous man named Fred who took me out frequently onto the river flats and showed me the ways of the Indigenous people of the area.
He could communicate with what he called the messenger birds. They nested in my fathers workshop.
History is repeating itself here and I have the same thing happening in my shed.
They had a problem with the feral cats just as I had with my canaries in my youth. I solved that with my single shot Lithgow .22.
The cats lived in the Berri Hotel wood heap. The birds here now build in my shed on a metal beam which is immune to cat attack, but to assist them I now have 23 notches on my rifle butt.
They love sardines also I have some wonderful conversations with the black cockies that rest on the back fence after filling their guts with calthrop seeds – much more sensible than some of the politicians I hear.

Independent Kim Hopper has succinct policies for Braitling
Well done Kim. We need a new view on things happening here.
We have lost so many opportunities to develop a unique place in the country but have been so inwardly looking over the years in favouring the interests that are so deeply ingrained here.
The Japanese have been using crushed glass from a mountain of wine bottles for many years mainly for road base. Here we are happy to dig into a pristine and ancient hillside.
I once changed some tyres in Adelaide and was PAID for them. They went to China where the rubber was removed by immersing them in liquid nitrogen and sent pack probably.
Unfortunately that has stopped and we do not have the scale or wage structure to do it here.
Both SA and Queensland have hydrogen production facilities developing, claiming the comparative advantage of their sunlight!
No one asked them to investigate here.
There are several towns that have gone completely off grid with significant savings to all.
Why did it not happen at Kilgariff?
One town in NSW has its solar panels over its sewerage ponds! Israel is producing potable water from waste water at under 60c. Singapore produces 60% of its drinking water from waste and they have a separate university department devoted to water recycling.
Here we treat fossil water as a waste product.
The sewerage ponds contain a veritable mountain of nutrients but no one has put a commercial value on them as fertiliser as has happened with the Adelaide plains market gardens.
Why are we not doing this on the communities?
Should I want to build my own eco friendly house here as in the Eco village at Aldinga in SA or the Christies Close development in the Adelaide CBD, where is the provision?
Where can I do it and make it representative of our conditions here? $5K for certification fees should I attempt that, thank you very much, let alone getting permissions in the face of am all powerful building industry.
The WA Government is installing vanadium flow batteries on some Indigenous communities in WA in preference to diesel but never a mention here.
Has any thought been given to the impending influx of electric vehicles? Queensland has developed its own solar highway. Where is our planning?
The development of new industries and the associated infrastructure has been guided by bodies that are protecting their own backsides and professional reputations rather than the communal good, and Darwin centred.
Go Kim!

New COVID initiative rehashes old projects
Get to the real cost of building here. It cost me $315 just to get a local tradie 15 km out of town to give me a quote. When queried I was told “that”s what we charge the Government”.
Brought an online switch from an electrical retailer here. Cost $23. Same switch at the green shed $6.50. A friend landed a four BR house here from Adelaide by truck.
Dropped on block ready to occupy: $280K, thank you very much!
Who is having whom on?

A touch of light: crows
Have had some magnificent conversations with them here but none better than conversations with the late Tommy Burrows and the crows that frequented his chook yard.
This is the stuff of legends!!
They almost ate with him at his breakfast table, and set his menu.

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