The Drought - my advice fwiw

May 25th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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The Drought - my advice fwiw

After galavanting around the Victorian countryside this past week I really have to suggest to people planning inland driving holidays to perhaps postpone their plans until after the drought has broken.

Australia is a dry country normally but at the moment many parts just look plain dead.

If you are Australian head out to support our rural communities but for those travelling great distance at considerable expense I suggest coastal locations or postpone.

I was recently in the southern highlands near Sydney and it was ok that way so parts maybe ok, do research.

If you do vsiit please practise up on your rain dances, thanks
Tassietwister is offline  
May 25th, 2005, 09:18 PM
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That is all we need - for goodness sakes some places are relying on the tourist trade to keep afloat, please do not encourage people to stay away.
Admittedly it looks very grim wherever you go except near the coast - but I think the average person would realise it is a temporary condition (hopefully) and enjoy the visit anyway.
I can assure you Tassietwister many parts are plain dead - and so is any hope of a rural income for yet another year.
prue is offline  
May 26th, 2005, 12:24 AM
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I did encourage Australians to visit but if it is a trip of a lifetime for crying out loud, it is not their problem. They are paying to have a great holiday, not provide welfare for our rural citizens. It was DROP DEAD BORING!!! Yes Australians should visit and pay their often rip off prices but I do not think it is the best time for international visitors to enjoy our countryside.

In the long term anyway it could have a negative overall impact on tourism if they see what I saw.

Tassietwister is offline  
May 26th, 2005, 07:33 AM
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Droughts are as Australian as kangaroos, kookaburras and the Sydney Opera House...they're what a lot of people would expect to see and what some people would even want to experience. Not necessarily a negative, from a tourism point of view, I would guess.
RalphR is offline  
May 28th, 2005, 02:46 AM
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Negative for me and I live here. I would really appreciate knowing the if the whole area where I was going overseas was devastated with flood or fire or hurricane so that I could plan accordingly.

And the drought we have at the moment is not normal and is not typical of Australia. I have never known water restrictions in Sydney at level 3 before and I have lived here decades and decades. Well I am almost oldish.

So not a typical Australian experience.

If I am wrong and it is typical and what tourists expect they I demand farmers stop whining and begging and give up all together, we obviously cannot support a crop industry. May as well let the heavily subsided US or Europe be the breadbasket of the world.
Tassietwister is offline  
May 28th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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RalphR - well said. I think someone once said, "I love a sunburnt country".
If anyone is interested in facts....the fact is that Australia is getting drier & drier, over thousands of years. I often wonder why farmers still try to graze cattle & sheep in such dry areas of Australia. I think we should farm kangaroo meat, and look at other crops. We live in the one of driest continents in the world, yet most Aussies don't additional water storage, like tanks. We should be using "grey water" more, in gardens, instead of it going down the gurgler & drains.
tropo is offline  
May 28th, 2005, 03:01 PM
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If things continue in this vein we'll have to look at even more drastic steps, like recycling sewage for more than just garden use. Desalination has been proposed as the answer, but suffers from requiring very high energy inputs. Water should also be priced more realistically - industry gets it dirt cheap. And many people will have to sacrifice their expanses of green lawn and thirsty exotic plants in favour of native gardens.

Less than an hour from Canberra, where I live, the city of Goulburn (pop. 23,000) has only a few months' water supply left.

tropo is right about farming and grazing, too. Whatever the sentimental attachment Australians may have to their rural industries (which few have seen in action close up), if these activities can't be pursued in marginal areas without regular drought relief payments, governments should buy the land at a price sufficient to allow their owners a comfortable retirement and return it to its natural state. They should encourage more intensive food production in non-drought-prone areas to compensate.

The most insane activity imaginable in Australia is rice farming - it takes thousands of litres of water to produce 1 kg of rice, when we have low-cost rice producing countries on our doorstep. The true cost of farming in the irrigated areas along the NSW/Victoria border will include whatever is necessary to deal with the salination beng caused - this will run into billions of dollars.
Neil_Oz is offline  
May 29th, 2005, 06:45 AM
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We are now experiencing our driest year since the early 60's in Central Australia. Yes we are known as an arid region but arid is one thing, bone dry is another. Since last June we have had a total of 370mm of rain.

It is beginning to become a bit desperate for the animals out here, we have seen an influx of Kangaroos in and around Alice Springs that have basically come in looking for water. This has the undesirable effect of making driving in the late afternoon to early morning extremely dangerous.

Take note if you are considering driving between Ayres Rock and Alice Springs at this time the kangaroos are literally throwing themselves at cars.
A big red rammed my car door whilst I was going round a roundabout in town the other day, $1200 damage and one dead roo.


Paul_S is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 12:34 AM
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and next you'll be telling me that roos don't carry insurance or have green slips!
margo_oz is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 05:36 AM
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Tassietwister, what parts of Victoria were you in? I will be driving through Victoria in October (already have purchased our tickets so we're on our way no matter what) and if things are still dry, I could vary my route. What about Beechworth, Milawa and Kosciuszko National Park? Are they brown and is Kosciuszko still pretty despite the '03 fires?
tomatogal is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 08:51 PM
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After the rain on the east coast this last week, I think you could say that the drought has broken.
marg is offline  
Jul 1st, 2005, 02:57 PM
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It has certainly eased the situation for us in the SW of NSW but there is a still long way to go before we have enough to replenish dams and get the streams and rivers running again.
However, it has made everything look more as it should and there are actually green tinges to be seen - so much more pleasant if you are driving around!
prue is offline  
Jul 1st, 2005, 03:32 PM
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Marg, I wish that were the case. However, the rain appears not to have extended to any great extent at least, to the central or western areas of NSW. Don't know about other states. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the heaviest falls were on the eastern coastal areas, which, like Lismore, and the other Northern Rivers areas, will be flooded while many of the worst drought affected areas miss out. Hopefully, the deluge that hit the G.C. will not result in flooding of the river systems into N-W NSW. With nothing (and there is literally nothing) on the ground to stop it, the spread of water would be so much greater now than in times of even reasonable grass coverage.

On the positive side, at least some good has been done in some areas. And, provided the lighter falls are followed up, we might see some growth in some of the warmer areas. And, hopefully we might manage to get some crop up for feed, even if it doesn't make it to full growth.

For the colder areas, it will only have the effect of hardening the ground further as it is now too late & too cold to bring on any winter grasses.

And, also on a positive note, at least now some of our 4 year olds have been able to see what rain looks & feels like!

Bokhara is offline  

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