Chapter 19:†† †††††DEVOLVE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT TO THE NORTH OF                                     AUSTRALIA.

MOTION: That the Rudd Government embark upon a processof devolving primary, secondary and tertiary industrial development to the north of Australia, especially to locations such as the Pilbara of WA where abundant supplies of energy resources, mineral resources and water exist, by means of taxation and/or other incentives.


Consider poor old low lying Perth basically built on a beach that extends up to 30 km to the continental scarp. Global warming and sea level rises are likely to give Perth inhabitants surfing opportunities in their backyards in the not too distant future this century. Canal estates at Mandurah for example, will be early candidates. Despite having droughts and perhaps the poorest quality drinking tap water in Australia, WA Governments persist with loading up the Perth Basin with water guzzling industry. The competing interests of sprawling suburbia and industry have pushed Perthís water supplies so close to exhaustion that desalination plants are being built to satisfy industrial needs in particular. Piping LNG from the North West Shelf just to fire up power stations and desalination plants close to Perth, does not make much economic or environmental sense.

For example, a large chunk of Perth has been built on the sandy coastal strip west of the Darling Ranges and Darling Scarp. Perthís annual rainfall alone is insufficient to cope with the demand for potable water. Rainfall collected in dams in the complex geology of the Ranges on the edge of the scarp, must be supplemented with groundwater from coastal aquifers such as the Gnangara Mound. Due to the lowering of water tables that have contributed to the disappearance of many coastal wetlands, recharge basins are being utilised effectively. Storm water is collected in fenced-off basins dug into designated blocks of land that might otherwise be used as house building blocks. Due to the porosity of the land, street runoff quickly filters through the sand to the water table, but is generally insufficient to satisfy demand. Would the most practical solution be to devolve or to desalinate?

If the Pollie powers of Perth were to actually do whatís in the best interests of WA, then they would be encouraging water guzzling industry and the associated population growth to migrate to the north of WA where abundant supplies of energy, minerals and water exist. Why not? It would seem that the fiefdom of the oligarchy of vested interests in WA is more interested in maintaining the political status quo to the long term detriment of the State and its water-short population.


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