A concept on Advancing Australia’s Economic & Social Future.
At the outset, I must stress that these concepts are mine alone, and as a totally uneducated individual, I hold no real hope that they will be read by; or if read; accepted in any way whatsoever.
I just feel compelled to make the statement, because it seems that Australia is missing out on a huge opportunity.
Assumed and apparently unrelated Facts
The recent (2008/9) economic downturn has triggered enormous governmental spending to prop up the economy.
The unemployment numbers are growing and with many businesses floundering, unemployment is expected to grow.
Australia’s huge land mass, while attractive to investors, is hostile and difficult to traverse.
Australia’s population is largely coastal, and there is a continual movement of the population to coastal regions.
Greening Australia, and other organizations together with school based programs, plant many thousands of trees each year.
Well maintained and watered floral and orchard gardens and farms thrive in the Outback.
Australian infrastructure is hampered by the lack of … infrastructure.
Create incentives for landholders in outlying regions to sink more artesian bores.
Each artesian bore should pump via the simplest system (e.g. Southern Cross style windmills) to a series of covered tanks with overflow leading to small local covered dams. Each dam should be managed as an oasis, with filtration systems to create a small percentage of potable water, while the balance of the water would be available for local irrigation from the local dam.
Landholders would be encouraged to plant trees, particularly food trees such as edible fruits and nuts around the dam and beside any waterways.
A wide range of ground covering meshes should be trialed in order to attempt to hold unstable soils in place during the establishment of these trees. Large sheets of organic materials that retain moisture, such as recycled flooring materials including carpet, may provide a partial solution to disposal of unwanted products and providing a secondary use for them.
Consequently, a large number of small oases are created where there is water, a food crop, wildlife and the resultant mini eco-system that all of these assets would encourage. Ideally, corridors are created along the sites of artesian aquifers that allow sustainable development of further infrastructure, population and the resultant industries.
For the Ecologically Sensitive lobby groups, it is suggested that instead of just ‘Plant a Tree’, it should be “Create the water to support the planting of food trees”.
In the short term, Government & Industry Grants can provide a pilot scheme that will call on CSIRO and other NGOs to test materials, geophysical and hydrological data points and provide model dam systems for further public and industry input.
In the longer term, concepts such as ‘Work for the Dole’ can provide not only a labour force, but certification for the unemployed that will provide them with enhanced employment opportunities in the general workforce.
Large resource companies that wish to lease property in outlying areas could be required to fund a percentage of these oases, while sponsors would be sought from community minded commercial and industrial interests.
Competitions for design of specific windmills, pumps, rigging equipment etc… could be held, increasing the profile of this Government Initiative and ensuring the best materials and methods were being utilized. These can be held internationally to gain the best possible deigns and the greatest profile.
Road Tax incentives would be given to haulage contractors that delivered ‘Oasis Kits’ free, along their routes.
Production of wind powered pumps can be increased by the addition of the new labour force who can also be involved in their construction and deployment.
Competitions between landholders to create the Most Productive dam systems would increase public awareness of the Government Initiative.
Competitions would be held for other infrastructure development programs allowing for the networking of water, electricity and data services etc… to and between outlying areas.