The more you read about the drought and water buy-back scandal the more it becomes obvious the rich are prospering by ripping off taxpayers as well as prospering off the financial tragedy of the bush people losing their farms. What can’t be denied is that the federal and state governments are well aware of this and are ducking and weaving avoiding the problem as their donors and individual MP’s are also profiting.
I published an article a few days ago about the drought and water frauds titled “Scott Morrison spends $1.13 billion on dams in the electorates of Barnaby Joyce and Angus Taylor who stole $80 million in the #Watergate scandal” and as soon as I had other questions were raised about who else has profited.
Gina Rinehart, who is very close to Barnaby Joyce, has been buying properties in Joyce’s New England electorate and would almost certainly benefit from the government spending $480 million for a dam at Dungowan in New England.
In a letter in 2011 Barnaby Joyce stuck his nose into Gina’s long-running battle with her children over their billion-dollar inheritances. John Hancock said publicly during the court case in 2015 “Coming from his government email I just think it’s extraordinary, and this character sits three chairs down from our Prime Minister.” (Click here to read more)
Gina has also recently financially benefited from Barnaby Joyce having an “epic fail” phone tower put on one of her properties in New England although Joyce claims he had no say in it which was contradicted by Telstra. So, Joyce, is Gina Rinehart’s gofer in New England and that’s how things roll where Joyce is. If you have big dollars Joyce will make sure you get what you want at the expense of taxpayers and people with less money and that’s what Barnaby Joyce has been doing for years for the big cotton farmers and their need for water.
Barnaby Joyce is not the only politician for sale in the bush as you can see below.
The Guardian reported on the 21/8/19:
A handful of big irrigators are responsible for 86% of water extracted from the Barwon-Darling river system, pushing the lower Darling into drought three years early, an expert report has found.
The NSW Natural Resources Commission released the report by the Australian Rivers Institute professor Fran Sheldon on Monday night, after it received criticism for the claim that extraction of water by cotton growers had pushed the river system into hydrological drought three years early.
Sheldon found that of the 158 licence holders in the Barwon-Darling, just 10 control 86% of the water extracted and four control 75%.
These four include the Harris family, which faces prosecution for extracting during low flows, and the publicly listed Webster Ltd.
The 2012 water-sharing rules have been highly contentious. Then water minister Katrina Hodgkinson made changes to rules after they had been put on public exhibition, following lobbying by the cotton industry.
This included changes to when irrigators could pump during low flow events and changes to the rules that allowed them to take up to 300% of their entitlement in one year. This has resulted in enormous volumes being extracted upstream during the drought. (Click here to read more)
In February 2018 it was reported that ICAC was investigating two NSW Liberal Party ministers:
A water-sharing plan for the Barwon-Darling was altered by the former New South Wales minister for primary industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, even though public consultations on the draft plan had ended and her bureaucrats had already submitted a draft for her to sign.
The changes made it more favourable to irrigators and delivered valuable additional water during low flows. According to some modelling it may have increased legal extractions by irrigators by 32%.
The formulation of the plan is now a major element of an investigation by the Independent Commission against Corruption, which is also looking into the NSW government’s handling of allegations of water theft and meter tampering in the region.
The inquiry is likely to examine the actions of two former NSW National party ministers: Hodgkinson, who retired from parliament in September last year, and Kevin Humphries who was dropped as junior water minister in 2015 but who remains the local member for the state seat of Barwon. (Click here to read more)
It was also reported in October 2017:
ICAC has begun a preliminary investigation into whether NSW public officials favoured Nationals donor and irrigator Peter Harris by not prosecuting him over alleged water theft.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption is also investigating whether public officials made decisions in favour of western NSW irrigator and lobbyist Ian Cole by changing water-sharing arrangements to benefit him. (Click here to read more)
At this point, ICAC has taken no action that I know of but that might be more to do with the appointment of the Liberal Party friendly Peter Hall as ICAC Commissioner. The above is a good start to building a prima facie case that the federal politicians won’t act on the drought in regards to water theft because to do so would upset their cotton farming financial donors and it would also likely put some state and federal MP’s in jail.
Water theft has been a huge problem and well known for a long time. The ABC Four Corners broadcast a story in July 2017 titled “PUMP“. “People are profiteering… It’s the biggest water grab in Australia’s history.” said a Grazier. And we all know about Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor, with the help of Barnaby Joyce, stealing $80 million for the public selling water to the government that didn’t exist.
The Dungowan dam was announced with huge fanfare but they still don’t know what they are doing:
POLITICIANS won’t say whether the council or the state government will control the water captured in the new Dungowan Dam.
The Prime Minister and Premier made a flying visit to Tamworth at the weekend to announce the state and federal governments would jointly fund a new $480 million dam for the city.
The announcement was lauded by local leaders, but the Premier, mayor and state MP all dodged questions on who would manage the water potentially captured in the new dam.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson rejected claims the decision was rushed, while conceding there was “a lot of detail and a lot of planning still to come”. (Click here to read more)
If the politicians don’t know what they are doing in relation to key issues after they have already announced the building of the dam then what motivated them to make a rushed announcement. It looks like they have gotten together and decided that building the dam would make them money and keep them in power so they would announce it work out the details later.
The whole drought/water fraud and theft issue needs a Royal Commission solely focused on the crimes being committed by business people and politicians. This issue isn’t going anywhere and will get worse until the drought ends which could be a long way off.
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