Well it looks like it’s time for another story about the Walsh River! On 11 December 2009 the following letter by Save the Walsh Action Group (SWAG) member, Alan Mackenzie, was published in the Tableland Advertiser.
Alan’s letter was a response to an article in the Tableland Advertiser on 9 December 2009 in which TERM Director, Mr Sam Musumeci, said that the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) were influenced by “mis-information” provided by sand mining opponents (read SWAG).
To quote the article Mr Musumeci stated “Consideration was given to the flood of mis-information to the community organized by opponents to the application.”
Here’s a copy of that article by skilled tableland journalist, Kylie Reghenzani, from the Tablelands Advertiser.
In this article Mr Musumeci stated “De-silting the weir will benefit the community in many ways and is an excellent use of a sustainable resource,”
In Mr Alan Mackenzies response he states “A TERM representative told a well-attended public meeting at Dimbulah on July 10 that dredging of Bruce Weir would prove far too costly to be economically viable”.
The real pearl in the original article was a photograph of TERM Director Mick Stankovich standing in the water on the upstream side of the Bruce Weir. The photo from the Tableland Advertiser
Carried the caption
“TERM Director Mick Stankovich stands in metre deep water, the very spot where, as a young man, he dived off the wall and could not touch the bottom. TERM says this photo proves the weir needs de-silting”
Before I continue I want to talk a bit about water safety, listen up as this is not just for kids.
What Mr Stankovich is doing is stupid. Please do not swim close to man made structures in rivers especially the upstream side of weirs and locks.
Secondly, Mr Stankovich is talking about how he “Dived off the wall and could not touch the bottom”. This is also stupid and can result in permanent spinal damage and a lifetime spent in a wheelchair.
I personally have known people who have experienced this tragedy and I assure you they would give anything to do things differently.
I certainly hope that TERM has a more responsible attitude towards workplace safety than that which is being displayed by their Director, Mr Stankovich.
I think it would be appropriate for TERM to state publicly that they do not condone diving off weir walls into shallow water or swimming around dangerous structures such as weirs and irrigation channels.
Ok moving on now let’s look at what Mr Alan Mackenzie had to say about Mr Stankovich’s stunt.
“As for the published pic taken near the dam wall, an aerial photograph taken in 1949 clearly shows a section near the wall of a higher riverine ridge, hence the alleged reduced depth near the dam wall.”
Well that would be pretty neat to see you say!
Well for your viewing pleasure I just happen to have that aerial photo and here it is!
And here is a more recent aerial photo!
Hey you’re right you can’t see a lot so let’s get a bit closer.
First the recent aerial photograph.
And here is the 1949 aerial photograph which clearly shows the riverine ridge Mr Stankovich was standing on.
I am disappointed that TERM director Mr Sam Musumeci has accused opponents of his sand mining scheme of spreading mis-information.
The latest information and “evidence” supplied my Mr Sam Musumeci and Mr Mick Stankovich certainly doesn’t look too good to me when it receives a bit of thorough scrutiny.
What do you think?
I’m glad that SWAG has been thorough in their approach and is basing their campaign on logic and facts not wild accusations.
Good work SWAG and especially nice work from you Mr Alan Mackenzie!
Respect to you all!