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Protest at Adelaide Federal Community Cabinet to demand action to save the Murray-Darling

On Wednesday 20 January, South Australian State Independent MP David Winderlich is organising a massive protest outside a scheduled Federal Cabinet meeting to demand effective action to save the Murray-Darling. The recent inundations of the northern headwaters give this Government a rare opportunity to save the our dying river system, that is, if it has the political will to stand up to commercial interests who would, instead, divert this much-needed water for their own short-term gain.

The following has been sent to me from David Winderlich's office. It was originally published on David Winderlich's web site at - JS

Massive murray protest

On the 20th of January, a Federal Community Cabinet meeting will be held in Adelaide. So I'm organising a Murray protest to be held outside, to let all the Federal ministers know what we think of their inaction on this national emergency.

An immediate Federal intervention can help save the Murray and get the floodwaters down to the Riverland and Lower Lakes. Even if there is agreement to send some water down the Murray this will only be piecemeal - we need a permanent whole river solution instead of constant crisis management!

Let's take our demands for immediate action right to the Prime Minister. All South Australians who care: turn up to the Community Cabinet meeting and send Rudd a rocket on the Murray.

When: 20th January 2009 at 4:30pm (assemble at 4pm)

Where: Norwood Morialta High School Oval, 505 The Parade Magill

Please pass this event on to your other networks, it is vital that we get enough people to get the attention of Rudd and Rann, and don't forget to bring signs stating what suburb or town you are from and if you like bring a bucket - some of those interstate Ministers might have brought some water.

If you're interested in being a part of this, or want to volunteer to help organise the protest, contact my office on (08) 8237 9278 or through email benjamin.howieson [ AT ]

See also: "MDBA legally obliged to place the health of Murray Darling above all else" of 12 Jan 10, See also: "Canberra must deliver on promised audit of private water storages" of 7 Jan 10,

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In 2006/07, Australians consumed an average of 104 litres of milk and 12 kilograms of cheese each. With the increasing demand for dairy products, and increasing prices, the public should consider the alternatives.

Cows have to give birth to a calf every year in order to produce milk. Mother cows are known to have highly developed maternal instincts and can bellow for days for their stolen babies! We kill over one million new-born calves each year.

The dairy industry is a high water consumer, and must take a lot of responsibility for the demise of the Murray-Darling food basin! We are also heavy exporters of dairy products.

According to ABS, in 2005-06, the agricultural commodities that used the most water in the Murray Darling Basin (MDB) were dairy farming - 1,287 GL or 17% and pasture for other livestock. The dairy industry accounted for 39% of the total irrigated area of pasture in the MDB.

About 45% of Australian milk is exported (2007/2008), mainly as milk powders, cheese and butter. The growing middle-classes in China and India are aspiring to our high red-meat and dairy and lifestyle in general, and Australian industries are constantly pushing for growth in these exports.

European style dairy products can be replaced by more humane and sustainable plant-based ones such as soy, rice and oat milks.

Dairy products have naturally high levels of saturated fat which raises blood cholesterol and will increase vascular disease risk in many people. The traditional cuisines of many countries are dairy-free. Recently, the largest ongoing European study found that just 35 g per day of dairy protein increased the risk of prostate cancer by 32%. (N E. Allen, T J. Key, P N. Appleby, 2008) Other scientists point to high levels of animal protein
which increase the acid load on our body which is fought by pulling calcium out of our bones. ( T. Colin Campbell. The China Study 2005) The reality is that we don't need dairy products!

The amount of water used to make a litre of milk is between 320 and 1000 litres. Soymilk requires about half the amount water of dairy milk. Soymilk is high in protein without the water consumption, the environmental impact of livestock, without the deaths of calves and cruelty to cows, and is healthier!

The population debate: do you want 'a big Australia'?? - generated by the 7.30 Report on the ABC...

Sheila's final paragraph here brought to mind the recent debate of Australia's burgeoning population - (and the resultant extra water use - unsustainable, etc)

All Australian Governments, now & in the future, must be brought to account!

... Arable land (maintained - not used for building)

... crops which work with Australian conditions - not against them (like dairy farming ..& rice!)