The following Clean Water manifesto was recently drafted following discussions at an anti-CSG workshop in Chinchilla and online among a number of farmers. You can sign onto it here.
To the Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives and Members of the House of Representatives
Australia is the driest inhabited continent. Our farming and tourism industries are crucial to our economy and depend on clean water. As of 2010-11 there were 307,000 people employed in agriculture that contributed to a total supply chain of 1.6 million jobs and $155 billion of our GDP annually. Australian tourism contributes $150 billion annually to GDP and 1.4 million jobs.
As our rainfall patterns change, our only dependable water is artesian, and it feeds and is fed by our catchments and rivers. Section 100 of our constitution states: “The Commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade or commerce, abridge the right of a State or of the residents therein to the reasonable use of the waters of rivers for conservation or irrigation.”
Our water is only usable if it is clean.
Protect clean water. Enforce Section 100 of the Australian constitution and protect sustainable farm and environmental use of water.
Prosecute and ban operations of mining and agribusiness corporations that pollute water, banks that fund their operations, and politicians who allow them to continue to do so.
Make politicians, senior civil servants and corporation officers personally accountable for their decisions with heavy fines proportionate to the damage done and long jail terms.
Charge full remediation costs for total damage, past and present, by mining companies through levies on the mining industry.
Ban speculation on water. No free water for mining.
Prevent corruption of allocation. Create an Independent Federal Commission Against Corruption with independent funding and powers to prosecute.