‘your’ ABC…fact checked, drubbed and put-down

Media Botch

SOMEWHERE in a tear-stained corner of the Media Watch HQ a researcher is feeling bruised, battered and bitterly disappointed. That person also should be burdened with guilt, but as this is the ABC we are talking about, that emotion will be a non-starter, despite the drubbing Jen Marohasy has just dispensed.
Dr Marohasy is probably the most trusted and knowledgeable scientist on anything to do with the Murray River system. The ABC blew it ‘bigtime’ here...

Media Watch Under Scrutiny

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…

Watching Her Watching Them: Graham Young

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.[1] 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…

Read more here: //www.ambitgambit.com/2012/03/12/media-watching-her-watching-them/

Saving the Coorong by Restoring Its Native State Available Online here: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7762

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
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