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Wet, wet, wet

18 May

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Wet behind the ears … Peppa finally gets his paws damp at Scarsdale station, a property near Broken Hill that was drenched in more rain yesterday than it has had in years. Photo: Terry Smith

That picture accompanies Wonderful wet: at last, it’s raining dogs out west in this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald. And that is good news!

ABC radio’s The Country Hour was abuzz with talk of rain, but there was also angst over water management. Bourke and Cobar shire councils were floating a plan to pipe Clarence River water inland to the Darling River, there were complaints about a lack of detail from the Federal Government over its $10 billion Murray-Darling rescue plan, and the independent New England MP, Tony Windsor, said the Water Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had to go because “I don’t think the man is competent”.

For farmers who have already planted a big wheat crop, the rain has come as a great relief and will encourage more to start planting.

Menindee had 22 millimetres in its rain gauge yesterday morning. Beryl Carmichael, 71, was born on the Darling River town’s old Aboriginal mission and is organising a gathering of Aborigines there next week to let politicians know how upset they are about management of the Murray-Darling Basin. “No-one is talking about our connection to the waterways,” she said.

“They tend to forget that we are still alive and know our culture and know the stories associated with the rivers … and that’s why I’m calling this big corroboree.” Mrs Carmichael said her beloved Darling was “sick, like us”, and she wants to see “drastic cutbacks” in the water given to irrigators. “I think this gathering has brought on the rain. It’s made the old spirits happy.”

Great stuff, but it is still too early to proclaim the drought over.

On climate, the venerable US “liberal” magazine The Nation recently had a special issue on Surviving the Climate Crisis. It is well worth visiting. That there is some division about what is best to do emerges in a reader poll there.

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And on education

Another back issue has a thorough report card on the US No Child Left Behind policy; it acknowledges some achievements, but points to serious flaws. The article is relevant to us as we consider the education debate in this country.

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Posted by on May 18, 2007 in Aussie interest, climate change, Current affairs, Education, Indigenous Australians

 

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