Alice Springs will be consigned to stagnation at its present size and scope of commercial activity if the town's Water Allocation Plan is adopted in its current draft form.
That's the view of Steve Brown, the Town Council appointed member of the local group advising the Minister.
That group wants to continue for another five years the strategy formulated in 2007 of making currently known reserves last for 400 years, and keeps in place a cap of 10.7 gigalitres (GL) a year, which has been almost reached now. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PHOTO: Steve (right) and Jim Brown.
The Federal Government scheme which turned the Henbury cattle station south of Alice Springs into "the world's largest carbon farm" will be a model for other pastoralists wishing to diversify, says Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.
He says so far there have been no similar applications for funding under the National Reserve System which contributed $9m – two-thirds of the purchase price.
The new owners, RM Williams Agricultural Holdings, are planning to turn the 500,000 hectare property "into a nature reserve, effectively removing thousands of cattle from the food chain," as Nationals Senator Fiona Nash puts it.
She also asked what checks and balances are in place to ensure accountability for the taxpayers’ $9 million contribution and would RM Williams have to repay the grant if the property is sold? ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Photo above:The Finke and the Palmer Rivers flow through Henbury Station. The Finke is the oldest river in the world. Below: The homestead. Photos Federal Government.