The Murray Darling Royal Commission happening in South Australia this month is painting a dark picture of how the Murray Darling Basin Plan came to be. We’ve heard shocking statements from scientists from the Wentworth Group, the CSIRO and ex-Murray Darling Basin Authority staff. But it is Richard Beasley SC, Counsel assisting the Commissioner, who summed it up perfectly:
The scientific community knew at least 4000GL was needed to be returned to the river to give it a fighting chance. Despite this, as former MDBA water planner David Bell told the commission, the final figure of 2750GL was plucked out of the air to be more politically palatable. “The general consensus [within the MDBA] became that the SDL had to be a number beginning with ‘2’,” he said.
His evidence at the Commission called into question the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s independence, showing the organisation could not be trusted to implement the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Former CSIRO scientist Dr Matthew Colloff said the MDBA’s interference throughout the course of developing the plan “compromised” the CSIRO’s scientific integrity, and undermined their independence.
Former MDBA environmental water director Maryanne Slattery told the commission the Basin Plan numbers no longer represented actual water.
The Authority has also been described as a “politically motivated” organisation, which had developed a “dishonest culture” just this week.
It comes as little surprise that the Murray Darling Basin Plan was not underpinned by reliable scientific advice at the time, but what is shocking is that the Liberal Government and the Murray Darling Basin Authority are attempting to hide from the Royal Commission’s scrutiny. They have shamefully applied to the High Court to block Government and MDBA officials from having to appear at the Royal Commission.
We can see there is not enough water coming down the River by looking at the dying Coorong, and the dredges at the Murray mouth. River communities are already seriously concerned that they are on the cusp of the next big drought.
River communities, and we South Australians at the bottom end of the river, expect more than this, and deserve better.
Let’s keep fighting for a thriving River.
Sums it up perfectly, really. The Murray Darling Basin Plan is broken, and as the Royal Commission in South Australia…
Posted by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young on Tuesday, 24 July 2018
From a Nature and Health newsletter I receive…
If you’re unsure about a woman’s age, just look at her hands – or so the saying goes. Despite the time we spend fretting over our faces, it’s our hands and nails that tend to show signs of ageing first.
“The skin on the back of your hands is much thinner and therefore more susceptible to showing signs of skin damage faster than other body parts that are more likely to be covered up more often,” explains beauty therapist Andi Butcher. “Wrinkling and age spots are far more prevalent on our hands due to lack of moisture and care.” Plus, conventional hand sanitisers probably haven’t helped the situation. “I’ve never seen so many patients with severely dry hands in all my years as a dermatologist,” says Dr Cheng Lim, of the Skin Cancer Clinic. “Some hand sanitisers contain up to 60 percent alcohol, which is why they strip the hands of their natural oils and dry them out.” So, what can you do? Try these tips:
“Use gentle, non-drying bar or liquid soaps with plenty of added vegetable glycerin,” says Butcher. “After you wash your hands, apply a good hand cream. Avoid products containing petroleum, mineral oil or silicones, as they just sit on the skin’s surface and don’t deliver that much-needed moisture to actually go within the skin. Instead, look for rich, hydrating ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil and avocado oil.”
Another couple of tricks from Butcher: “Apply your favourite hand cream before doing the washing-up, then slip on rubber gloves. “While you’re scrubbing, the warmth from the water will work to create a super-penetrating deep-moisturising treatment for your hands. Also, when it comes to putting the finishing touch on your hands with some polish, look for brands that don’t use damaging ingredients like formaldehyde and phthalates. Instead, seek out water-based polishes, which offer all the colour without the chemical smell.”
Dutch women who were given Viagra to increase the growth of their unborn child as part of a major drug trial face an anxious wait after the deaths of 11 babies.
The research, carried out at 10 hospitals across the Netherlands, involved women whose placentas had been underperforming taking sildenafil, a medication sold under the brand name Viagra.
Viagra, which dilates the blood vessels, is used for erectile dysfunction in men and is prescribed for people with high blood pressure. The hope, backed up by experimental research on rats, had been that the drug would encourage a better flow of blood through the placenta, promoting the growth of the child.
The trial was terminated last week when an independent committee overseeing the research discovered that more babies than expected were being born with lung problems.
In total, 93 women were given the drug as part of the trial, led by Amsterdam University Medical Centre. Seventeen babies developed lung problems, and 11 have since died.
Of the 90 women in a control group, who took a placebo, three developed the same lung issues and no babies died.
Between 10 and 15 women are waiting to find out if their child has been affected.
It is feared the drug caused high blood pressure in the lungs, leading to the babies receiving too little oxygen. There is nothing to suggest the trial was mishandled.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” ~ unknown
“If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
The Achuar of Peru’s Pastaza River in the northern Amazon have sent many oil companies packing. Now GeoPark, a company based in Chile, thinks it can succeed where Talisman, Oxy, and ARCO failed.
The Achuar remain as committed as ever to resisting extractive industries in their ancestral territory, helping defend its biodiversity and the global climate. Now they’ve asked international civil society to stand with them as they defend their sacred rainforests from an attack on their ancestral way of life.
Joan Shenton said: “Sacrificial Virgins shows there’s no evidence that vaccines used in immunisation programs to guard against HPV will also prevent future onsets of cervical cancer – because there’s no scientific evidence that HPV actually causes such cancers. However, the film provides plenty of evidence that, after vaccination, countless young women worldwide have experienced life-changing neurological damage.”
In a rather unfortunate coincidence the name and some health data of 1.5 million Singaporeans was hacked the same month Australians started to be allowed to opt out of our national health database. Apparently 20,000 of us opted out on day one of the 90 day opt out period!
If you want to opt out, here is the link: www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/
Singapore govt health database hacked
A major cyberattack on Singapore’s government health database resulted in the personal information of about 1.5 million people – including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – being stolen.
Ex-DTO chief slams “significantly flawed” My Health Record
Former Digital Transformation Office chief Paul Shetler has labelled the rollout of the My Health Record “significantly flawed”, citing issues with its security model and design as barriers to take-up. Said if he were an Australian hewould probably opt out.