Saturday, March 29, 2008

How dare you!

What can I say. ( Ms culverts concerns in the Colac Herald) As a postgraduate degree scientist who weekly advised local councils for many decades on how best to manage soil and water resources in this area, I am well used to the idea that when you support some action , you won't please everybody – That, in itself, is definitely not a worry- especially if it's an investment that really works long term !

What is a worry is all the 'doing something about Lake Colac "actions that our political leaders have put money into that don’t and won’t work for the long term to improve the water quality in Lake Colac. Take as a very vivid example, the millions spent on window dressing and fiddling around on the edges in recent years ; the big picture future ecologically sound options for these lake systems could have been identified with 1% of that money.
Ms Calvert is entitled to remind us of the disadvantages and risks- the noise and visual intrusion. But until you investigate the issues and options in detail , they like most complex environmental and economic management questions, cannot be addressed .( for example -amount and cost of screening or fill ) .Threats can become opportunities-- if you plan for them . I am not advocating that we accept the bypass option as a given , but simply that we investigate it properly because economically and ecologically, its the only feasible proposition on the horizon for changing the water quality and eutrophic challenges of Lake Colac - how much impact ,where and why not think about it..

Where I strongly differ with Ms Calvert is on the idea of doing nothing. We have, whether we like it or not, a long established system of lake level and channel controls operating at the moment to keep the lake as full as it has been . Does she suggest we let the existing barrages, beaches and stops erode? I think it best for the future, if we get expert ecological and economic advice about what lake levels make sustainability sense - particularly before the next flood.

Mr McCarthur, and many other leaders, have offered us millions to “do something about the lake" over the last few years . I feel sure Mr Cheeseman and Mr Crutchfield will offer us something too. Especially if, instead of asking for another big bucket , we ask for a small proportion of it for planning - Well done Terry for getting to this point in Parliament ! Give us the informed choice limits that will enable us to support lake level settings and practical actions would make sustainability sense – Then for a long time in a very long time, we can all really move on.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A options paper - would it just be too simple!

I truly hope Mr Mulder gets to fund a plan but ONLY IF
- ITSis not JUST WADS OF QUESTIONS and EXCUSES . WE want a plan whose brief is placing choices and non choices
before the people of Colac and District. I don't like his chances !

Why should Hon Gavin Jennings want do anything? Going on comments in the paper PARKs don't appear to want to do anything .
Mr Jennings and Mr Crutchfield have lakes drying out all over the countryside, so why would they consider funding a review in our area?
Here's 5 good reasons why they SHOULD
- Gavin Jennings credibility He should be able to knock the department heads together and GET THEM TO GIVE DIRECTION without it costing US a fortune. ( believe me its a real Hacker moment when it happens ) Its actually possible Crutchfield just has to set 2 dates and stick with the agenda - none needs paying because everyone is already paid - esp if its news; to make decisions
- If Gavin Jennings is any sort of Minister he would know that Labor struggles to be credible out here in the bush .Mcarthur did well to identify and understand but he like Howard threw money not sense at problems . McArthur has left us a legacy of expensive and uninformed windowdressing in Funding .Here's you big cahnce to get something done !
Gavin Jennings, Michael Crutchfield and Mr Cheeseman could show they are more than window dressers when it comes to solving problems . They could do something very sensible and long term to resolve an environment question that is on the hearts and minds of nearly all the electorate .”.Thinking ahead of time, and not duck shoving rural Victoria; Why not fund some very sound water planning in a new labor area.

- The cost of a plan is peanuts compared to the money the previous Feds and states have wasted on windowdressing on lake Colac already. Our council seem to be able to fund lots of plans and consultancies, so why not Gavin Jennings?

--Lots of water has in the past kept Vic biggest freshwater inland lake alive- if only just. The people of Colac need to face facts, with decreasing water quality and increasing demand, the water that one day used to fill this lake ,might one day be allocated elsewhere, like it is now with our reservoirs .
--The Colac community are entitled to know what options it has if barrages are removed , environmental flows are increased , and waste water is no longer poured into the lake .
Anything less than an options paper is an abdication of ministerial responsibility.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Would a bypass spoil the look of Lake Colac?

Many people expect a bypass would spoil the look of Lake Colac. For most of us the wide expanse of water would be compromised. Look at even a fairly close road say even 50-100 metres wide ( assume a beach area on this side is obvious in dry times ).
Realistically though, such a change would have relatively low impact on the overall impression from the South, considering the great and currently unattainable benefits in better water quality and reliable depth in the southern lake . The wide expanse of water effect would remain . Not ideal perhaps, but great for the future of Colac and Lake Colac as a recreational and natural lake system for the future . And quite feasible !Increase the value of every property in Colac long term !
Note: the visual impact shown in these photos would be even less if Option M see below - a bigger southern lake area were put forward
If you want to see high resolution photos and a full set of views , email me for a powerpoint which includes the photos.