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The Forum > Article Comments > Time to pay back the Snowy > Comments

Time to pay back the Snowy : Comments

By Acacia Rose, published 11/4/2008

The Snowy Scheme: water is public property yet the state sees fit to appropriate and sell that water.

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As a “CONSTITUTIONALIST” I have written in my published books in the INSPECTIOR-RIKATI® SERIES EXTENSIVELY ABOUT water ISSUES.
My blog at also covers some of it.
The Framers of the Constitution during the constitution convention Debates made clear that the NSW ROYAL COMMISSION report into the WATER was not published because the then Prime minister of the colony NSW had prevented this effectively.
However, they made clear that the WATER that falls on the land of a person belongs to that person. Also that South Australia could take the matter to the High Court to claim riparian rights.
They opposed a Federal government control of WATER as they made clear that this would affect also the land values, etc.
Further, that even using Subsection 51(xxxvii) to refer legislative powers of the States it would still be subject to a State referendum to approve such reference of legislative powers!
Also, that the commonwealth within Section 100 could place limitations upon the usage of WATER to retain it to be navigational.
They also held that infrastructure of harbours of navigational rivers fell under the control of the Commonwealth!
More over that once the commonwealth had legislated as to a subject matter within Subsection 51 (other then taxation) then no State could from then on pass any legislation on that subject matter.
Hence there is no such thing as dual legislative power!
There is a lot more to this all but a search on my blog for “10 billion” would get you there to read how also this is constitutionally floored.
As the Framers of the Constitution made clear “conservation” of WATER was a State legislative power but none of the States owned WATER!
This post will not allow me to set out in details what is relevant but I for one do not consider the so called 10 billion dollar WATER deal between the State is constitutionally valid and neither can the Commonwealth deny any irrigator/farmer not to have any allocation. Neither charge a farmer for catching WATER in his own build dams!
Again, see my blog also.
Posted by Mr Gerrit H Schorel-Hlavka, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 9:48:17 PM
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A challenging and demanding read, Acacia Rose. The article has provided some interesting insights.

One thing I have not seen expressly commented upon in the MDB water management discussion context is the exposure of the privatised water supply utility of South Australia to threatened intensification of (natural? foreseeable?) shortage of supply from the Murray river. How much of all the behind-the-scenes manouvering with respect to the Snowy Scheme is designed to bail out a privatised utility in SA at the public expense of the rest of Australia? Surely any private water utility should be expected to have made adequate provision for security of supply of its stock-in-trade before taking up such a privatisation opportunity?

Surely any government in South Australia should stand accountable for having abdicated its responsibility to its public for having failed to pursue any constitutionally guaranteed entitlement to available water supplies before having hived off its water utility responsibilities to a private entity. Yet the article tells us that Section 100 of the Constitution is untested in relation to the securing or defining of such possible entitlements! Where does Dartmouth dam figure in this?

It is also interesting to note the alleged inferred interest of one or both members of the cardboard container and packaging duopoly in the MIS pine plantations within the catchment, and the possible significance of those plantations in the context of run-off and river flows. I was unaware of this when I posted this comment to another OLO article: . It seems worth noting that Visy, one member of the duopoly in question, was promoting a scheme of protecting water distribution canals in the MDB against soakage losses, I think by means of what would have amounted to large scale plastic fluming, as a means of making SE Australia's water resources stretch further. In isolation a seemingly commendable proposal: I wonder did it promise to conflict or undercut other plans of would-be privatisers?

Too many hidden agendas, Acacia Rose! We are all being snowied!

To the Constitution!
Posted by Forrest Gumpp, Saturday, 19 April 2008 10:42:57 AM
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