Monday, November 26, 2007
As many of you know I live in the Otway Ranges in Victoria- an area which is one of the last reserves of semi-tropical rainforest in the world.It is the home of unique fauna and flora amongst which the platypus which is one of only two species ( the other being the echidna) that lays eggs yet suckles its young. It lives in the Gellibrand River and the creeks of the area. The animal is extremely shy ,and last year the Chief Sheik of the United Arab Emirates brought his family to enjoy the privilege of swimming with these creatures and observing them in their habitat near Forest.The whole ecosystem is in precarious balance as many of mans activities have impacted on habitat, water and climate and then there is the ever pervasive risk of fire in the summer months- add to this several drought years that has seen a lowering of the water table and you will see there is a need to protect this precious place. Much of this is subject to discussion and often standoffs between the different interests which exist in any community. However there has been one issue that seems to have galvanised everyone to express protest and has seen a willingness of different interests to work together to protect our most valaubale resoure- water. It has been proposed by Barwon Water to pump the Aquifer ( artesian water) in this region in order to supply greater Geelong and Melbourne. Everyone is aghast as the water table is in a precarious situation, but not only that it appears that no environmental impact studies have been done. So in the light of this members of the community have been working together to stage protest, to question and to activate the community.Recently a surprisingly large meeting was held in Gellibrand Town Hall to question Barwon Water and since then members of the community have been organising action.This weekend we printed t-shirts with a logo designed by another community member who chose the platypus as the symbol of protest. We have also set up a blog which we will fill with photos of the region, information on the region, its fauna and flora.
And as an aside I think it is criminal the size of the houses they are permitting to be built with often not two but three or four bathrooms. Cities waste huge amounts of water and really ought to give some thought to the impact of that use on systems outside of their immediate surroundings.Australia is a dry land an extremely dry land and water is not an endless resource but a precious thing that needs to be used carefully. So no aquifer pumping!