Mount Isa is reverting to the desert it once was
I was a resident of Mount Isa for over 60 years, and left about ten years ago.
When we arrived 70 years ago, Mount Isa was a hot dusty collection of shacks with few gardens.
Following the construction of the dam at Lake Moondarra, there was an abundant water supply, gardens flourished and most people prided themselves in their gardens.
At that time, Mount Isa had a population of 32,000 and there was adequate water for all.
Later, the dam at lake Julius was also built to alleviate any water shortages in dry seasons, so Mount Isa should never run short of water.
Both of these dams were built and maintained by Mount Isa Mines.
Unfortunately, when ownership of Mount Isa Mines changed, they gave the water supply to the Queensland Government, who in turn sold it to Sun Water for an alleged billion dollars, and Sun Water were left to recover that cost through water rates.
I recently came back to Mount Isa for a brief visit, and was distressed to see that many people had abandoned their gardens, and many yards were dust bowls or overrun with dead plants.
When we lived in Mount Isa, all property owners paid a water levy in their rates.
Apparently many people objected to this, so Council in their wisdom did away with the levy, and a "user pays" system was introduced, and ratepayers have to pay for litres of water used.
Following this, a lot of people stopped watering their gardens, and Mount Isa is reverting to the desert it once was.
To say that the town looks terrible with dead gardens and abandoned empty houses everywhere is an understatement.
It is about time that this "user pays" system is revised, and the water levy is reinstated.
There used to be garden competition in Mount Isa which was very popular.
Perhaps Council should look at reinstating that.
Andy Hegh OAM
Shorten's scam scheme
Bill Shorten' renewable energy plan is a scam.
To put it simply Bill is like a man with a truck that has to make a one hundred kilometre journey every day.
But here's the problem, every day the man's truck has only fuel for thirty five kilometres and some days much less.
It is impossible for the man to make the journey and Bill's not being honest, if he says he can.
Here's the analogy.
The truck is Bill's solar power system (roof solar panels, solar farms).
The journey is providing electricity for Australia twenty four hours a day.
The fuel is the Sun, which only shines effectively eight hours a day and with clouds and rain, some days much less.
Result, it is impossible for Bill's solar power system to provide the electricity required. And with no excess solar electricity to store, batteries are a worthless expense.
And don't mention wind energy, it's weak and unreliable.
Two hundred years ago, sailing ships were all we had.
Where you wanted to go and what time you arrived, was very uncertain, as it relied on the vagaries of the wind.
Today there are no commercial sailing ships.
Why because the ships, (passenger liners, container ships) are thirty times bigger these days, and their crew want them to go in whatever direction they want, and get there at a time they can predict.
Wind turbines might power a commune, but they won't power a modern country.