What's hot in South Gippsland (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Fri, 25 Jan 2008

What's hot in South Gippsland

One of the joys of travel is checking out regional newspapers to see what the locals care about. The morning after the Penguin Parade, that meant the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.

The Sentinel-Times features regular items like a page of fishing news (some local kids caught a Mako shark) and a page of farming news (an unusually high demand for heifers). The week's editorial concerns a "former doubter" who has his picnic/camping trip disrupted by a huge black feline, three times the size of a normal house cat, skulking in the bushes near the picnic tables. The writer elects not to leave the safety of the car, and drives away. Now he no longer doubts people's stories of huge black cats (apparently an ongoing issue in South Gippsland). He still doesn't believe in UFOs, though.

But the top story in the Sentinel-Times is the new desalinization plant being built against the protests of residents. There were at least five different stories about it. But isn't desalinization a good thing, in a region which is under severe water restrictions already? Most of the articles assumed that readers already knew the issues, but finally I found the answer: the plant is far larger than needed for the region, it's feared that it will have (unspecified) environmental impact upon the local ecology and no environmental studies have been done, and, finally, the most telling fact: the plant will be owned by an Israeli firm which will own rights to the water.

Anyone remember Bolivia's water riots, when the peasants rose up against foreign companies overcharging them for their own water? Handing over local control of the water supply sounds like a bad plan. I'd be against it too. Good luck to the folk of South Gippy in their fight.

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[ 13:17 Jan 25, 2008    More travel/melbourne08 | permalink to this entry ]