Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pipeline Pipe-dreams

As the water debate continues to be massaged into a virtual water crisis the dreamers take wing on the faintest whisper of factual breeze. And never mind the distance from the Burdekin, the latest proposal to be debated by Cairns City Council has been to duplicate the Gas pipeline on it's right-of-ways all the way to Brisbane some 1500km as the cliche flys.

As if a product that sells for $1 a tonne could be just as feasible to transport long distances as a product that sells for $500 a tonne.

But what is more curious is that even the good burgers of Cairns City appear to have accepted that the SE corner has some divine right of city dwellers to access anyone else's water whenever they think they need it. Surely, if there is going to be a shortage of water in SEQ then one might have thought that those seeking to further the interests of the far north might have been the first to tell the next half million new arrivals that there is plenty of water in the north.

But Cairns is a Labor stronghold. And while they, and other Labor representatives outside the South East, may highlight the physical attributes of the region for the tourist trade, they remain that little outpost of the far north that is, forever, Brisbane.

But surely, a Premier who governs for all Queenslanders would give the new arrivals the choice. If they want all the water they reasonably need they can buy a tank like everyone on the land does already or they can keep going north until water is no longer an issue. Yet, Beattie is spending billions to ensure that most of the population growth, and the resulting economic benefits, remain in the SE Corner.

And this begs the question;
If it is OK to spend $2 billion on water infrastructure for the exclusive use of the 2/3rds of the states population in the SE corner then where is the other $1 billion that is the rightful share of the remaining 1/3rd of Queenslanders in the real Queensland?

Or more appropriately since water is less of an issue, would they rather take their extra $ billion in road funding and health services instead? Make no mistake, part of the reason Beattie chose the Mary River as the site for a new Dam is that it is just outside the Moreton (SEQ) Statistical District and the capital outlay will then appear in the budget statistics as expenditure on the bush, for the bush. But the bush will wear the adverse impacts and get no economic benefit while the city gets all the benefit and none of the impacts. And emperor Beattie will continue to parade in his new "for all Queensland" clothes.

This guy has never governed for all Queenslanders, he is nothing more than the lord mayor of "Greater Brisbane". Where is the decentralisation policy in his plans for the state? By his deeds shall ye know him.


Post a Comment

<< Home