First published by me at Linked In on 15th October 2018 (original content)
I'm no expert or scientist, but my interest was sparked, a little while ago, when I saw a quote in a reasonably academic publication that went something like .."90% of the rainfall that falls on northern Australia finds its way back to the ocean.."
From there I learned that there are many projects and research studies that show that it is all possible, to catch that water and channel it in the right direction. All the experts seem to have differing views or different barrows to push and, as usual in this country, a talkfest results in nothing happening. It's easy for politicians to make grand statements about nation building, but not so easy when it comes time to find the funds.
It's certainly more effective than a whole lot of desalination plants, where you then have to get rid of the salt and brine and that usually means being pumped back into the ocean in very high concentrations, which doesn't make for happy sea life.
Look at the success of the Ord River Scheme and the Snowy Mountains scheme - they were true nation building projects - we need more.
I like the idea of making immigrants move out of the large cities and live in regional areas, that the PM announced the other day.
I also like the idea of people who don't need to go to a physical city office, moving into regional areas. That is more and more possible these days with remote workers, and e-commerce sellers, and has always been the case for writers, composers and many people who are not saddled by having to follow the '9 to 5' grind.
Cities are encouraging developers to build high rises to stop urban sprawl, so why not also encourage people to move to smaller communities, to find work, and make that work worth their while.
Maybe if we start these immigrants close to the coasts we will eventually build communities that move the water further inland.
Do you suppose we will ever "water the desert"?
They need jobs, many will be skilled, let's not create jobs for the sake of creating jobs - that's just another form of social welfare, but creating jobs for the sake of nation building and leaving the place better than your generation found it, is a noble aspiration, particularly if it is driven the by private sector, who innovate and employ people with efficiency in mind.
It seems like state and federal governments are never going to be brave enough to spend the billions that are needed on the big infrastructure projects, so if we can get people to go and live in remote areas, maybe it is possible that with some wealthy industrialists, who are prepared to take a punt, a bit of ingenuity and many hands making light work, that we could, ultimately look at projects like "watering the north". Big thinkers are needed.
Perhaps a condition of Foreign Investment approvals could be that a percentage of it is channelled into large infrastructure projects without us being in a position that we are beholden to the financier, who would get tax breaks and visa rights etc, but not control of our national assets.
Big thinkers are needed. It could take hundreds of years, but if people of good will, a few benefactors, a whole lot of foreign investment and willing workers come together we could build regional centres right across the country.
What do people think?