river sunset…

 I headed down to the river last night for sunset – it was a dead calm evening so I thought it might have some good reflections going. The river is in flood due to the lack of rain – yes that is correct !  Lack of decent rain and the river floods !  This is because the persistant swells of  Bass Strait can push enough sand up to keep the mouth closed sometimes if there is not a large enough volume of water coming downstream.  So when this occurs the huge amount of sand at the mouth can force the river to flood upstream (which happens several times a year from either heavy rain or lack of rain – more so the latter in recent years unfortunately ! ).

  So with the river banked up for approximately 5km’s or so and flooding the low lying marshes, floodplains and farmland it becomes quite an expansive body of water and can look pretty impressive I think. Much of the flora in these areas most likely depend on some sort of annual innundation to survive anyway.  My bet is the shire will dig open the mouth with an excavator soon as the river is verging on flooding over the local road.  

 It is a mere 600m from this beautiful river mouth  (one of only 3 rivers in the region) that the unelected Victorian state government is planning to build the largest desalination plant in the southern hemisphere. Not only that, it will be the only desalination plant in the world that is not on an indutrialised/developed coast – Yes it is that ridiculous ! Considering that not even 60km away they pump out the equivalent amount of water that this will produce, as semi treated waste water into Westernport Bay (polluting another ecosystem and that is another story in itself !). Meanwhile 80km east the Yallourn coal fired powerstation uses the same amount of drinking water from the Thompson catchment (Melbournes largest and driest reservoir) for its cooling towers !   Difficult to work out a better solution isn’t it ?!?!?!

 So the plan is to build this ‘Pollution factory’  on a pristine coast that is full of marine life, between a marine National Park (Bunurong Marine park) and one of Victoria’s largest tourist attractions – Phillip Island penguin parade – Smart idea hey !

Yep – Steve Bracks, John Brumby and ‘snotty nosed’  Tim Holding stop being so ignorant – get real and get off our beautiful coast !


Powlett sunset I

‘Powlett river sunset’ 

~ by Tony Middleton on June 17, 2009.

11 Responses to “river sunset…”

  1. I love the sky colors.

  2. Beautiful clouds and reflection, perhaps struggling a bit for strong composition here as there’s no focus point – but lovely scene still and great mood.

    That pollution factory sounds ridiculous!!! Why oh why doesn’t anyone think before doing this. Beautiful untouched James Price Point in Kimberley will also soon have a large gas hub on the beach. Bloody hell!

    • Hi Flemming – you picked it mate, with the river so full I was struggling for a true focal point…But I guess the serenity is what I was after and the fact that I get REALLY pissed off with this political decision daily so I just wanted an image for the day to post on here about it.
      Yeah I have been following the ‘Browse gas field’ case and it is another disgrace. What hope do we in small communities have ?
      Campaigning against this desalination project we have pro surfers, national musicians such as Nick Seymour (Hunters and collectors), AFL footballers, Senator Bob Brown to name a few. All spending their own time and vocally supporting their opposition to this STUPID decision yet the government pushes ahead regardless, not even looking at the alternatives. And in todays newspaper I read that the former state environment minister that was in charge at the time of the project’s announcement concedes that it is NOT a viable solution for Melbourne’s water problems !

      It is enough to make you spew !


  3. very beautiful spot Tony.
    how ironic it floods due to lack of rain!

    and yeah i hear ya on the plant.
    so many alternatives can be considered before jumping right in.
    but i guess when we’re just one of the “dumb” public we don’t know as much as the wonderful people in charge….

    i still chuckle at the one politician who used to be so against all of this stuff for so many years. wrote oh so many songs. and now when in a position to help and actually do something has suddenly turned silent.

    but we’ll stop now, it’s the weekend. last thing we want to do is talk politics 😛

    • You are right, it is a beautiful spot Stephen – the dunes around the mouth are fantastic as well, not to mention all the bird and animal life around it within the nature reserve.

      Yeah those that voted labor thinking the ‘great man’ would change the world were a touch naive and now he seems to just tow the party line by signing off on enviromental disasters left, right and centre.Surely this would burn him up inside as he actually very intelligent.

  4. An absolutely delightful Photo Tony. The rich colors are gorgeous. I don’t care that it doesn’t have a focal point. I don’t think it needs one. It leaves my eyes free to roam this lovely, peaceful scene.

  5. thinking about the complexities of this issue hurts my brain. i skimmed the EES and the minister for planning’s assessment and still haven’t reached a conclusion. i honestly don’t know what i would do if i was in charge. for sure it’s shocking Tony, the location and all the baggage that comes with it.

    because the EES doesn’t seem to offer info on the alternatives to desal, i’ve been seeking out data on the other available options to augment our water supply and how effective they could be. i found my way to the 2006 sustainable water strategy:

    Click to access Sustainable_Water_Central_Region.pdf

    section four has it all.

    • hi Cain,
      Of course the EES or any other document by a government agency or one working for them will not offer much in the way of alternative options or anything detrimental to what the government wants – that’s the way it all works…

      You may have seen on the news sunday night the 3 southern right whales off Sorrento ? Well I and a couple of friends down from Qld had the pleasure of watching them frolic off the coast here on Thursday. Something that I’m not sure will happen post desal… Also on the news yesterday I heard the government once again dismissed the option of even looking at usiung recycled water for the Latrobe valley powerstations and freeing up the equivalent amount of drinking water for Melbourne. Surely this would be a more sustainable soloution even if it cost twice as much ! So too totally dismiss is ridiculous…

      • Forgive me in carrying on but I’m really trying to understand the process by which decisions have been made. From what i gather from the DSE, there should be some reference to project alternatives:

        ‘An EES will not normally be required to document alternatives to a project proposal, as opposed to alternatives for a project. However a discussion in an EES of the rationale for a project will be appropriate. The only alternative to a project proposal that will routinely be described in detail in an EES is the ‘no project’ scenario. The ‘no project’ scenario provides the baseline for describing the potential environmental effects from a project. The ‘no project’ scenario sets the current and anticipated conditions if the project did not proceed.’

        Environment Victoria criticise the EES because of this in their submission.

        I missed the whales but I have to say Tony, that I couldn’t see their presence being changed by the addition of the plant. If anything, you’d think the pipe at Gunnamatta would keep them away.

        And I’m not so sure about the Eastern Water Recyling Proposal. If they were going to treat water for a power station, why not treat it for human consumption? (instead of pumping it all the way to Gunnamatta to piss off the whales!)

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