MEDIA Watch contacted me on Friday with a barrage of questions concerning my work on the need to restore the Murray River’s estuary. Their line of questioning suggested that I was misleading the Australian public on the important issue of water reform in the Murray Darling. Indeed, the implication was that I am but a stooge for vested interests.
It appears Media Watch is contemplating asserting or implying that my professional judgement and integrity as a scientist has been influenced or corrupted by personal financial gain. Accordingly, I have sought legal advice on the matter, and include this in my full response that can be downloaded here:
My responses to their specific questions also follows:…read it all
Extremely well done Dr Marohasy…
Jennifer Marohasy has been campaigning to have the barrages – a form of dam – removed from what most of us would think of as the mouth of the River Murray. While much has been made of the fact that the Murray often doesn’t run into the sea, hardly anyone is aware that it is stopped from doing that by a series of dams.
During the Federation plus 100 drought that we have just experienced, water was being siphoned off from higher up the Murray and Darling to keep the lakes at the mouth of the Murray full. If they had been in their natural state the tide would have done that for free, and saved a considerable amount of water for upstream communities.
On Line Opinion first published Jennifer’s controversial views on the lower lakes in August 2008. We did that because they made sense. The current arrangements with the lakes are obviously artificial, and their listing as a RAMSAR wetland is just as obviously mistaken.
Media Watch contacted Marohasy on Friday seeking answers to a list of questions with the intention of going to air tonight. If another program behaved like this they would run the risk of making a star appearance on Media Watch. Marohasy formed the opinion that the story had already been written. That seems a reasonable point of view.
Certainly the questions that Media Watch put to Marohasy indicated that they either had done no independent research about the lakes, or were incapable of understanding simple physical concepts. The questions about her sources of income were bizarre and mostly irrelevant, but obviously intended to frame her as a stooge for some group or another…
Saving the Coorong by Restoring Its Native State Available Online here: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7762