People came from:
- Queensland (Mary River);
- the ACT;
- NSW(Rivers SOS members, Blue Mountains, Mudgee, Upper Hunter, Wyong Valley and Caroona) and the Inland Rivers Network, and the Manly Environment Centre;
- Victoria (there were some Murray Darling people ("Poor Darlings" we like call them - in the nicest possible way!), some "Plug the Pipe"-rs, some Desal opponents, and some Green Faith Australia environmental campaigners. Special thanks must go to Mary Crook, Liz McAloon and Dr Wayne Chamley from the Victorian Women's Trust for their expert advice and guidance;
- and several South Australians.
- We also had a number of heavy hitting Academics, notably Pat Troy from the ANU and Professor Emerita Diane Bell.
People came to hear Maude Barlow speak about water governance in Australia, and the abuse of policy, and Governments' (plural) obsession with expensive and inefficient high-tech solutions which will in the long term not solve the nation's water problems.
We decided we need to do something about it, and this is the start of it.
PRESS RELEASE : 2 April 2009-04-02
The Australian Water Network was launched today.
The Australian Water Network will link activists, academics and community groups from all over Australia who are working in their local communities and states on the water crisis facing this country.
The Network will expose and challenge Government water policies which are failing to serve the common good; and promote ideas and strategies more likely to secure a sustainable water future.
"This is an historic day for Australia" said Maude Barlow, Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the UN General Assembly. "Consecutive governments, both Federal and State, have yet to recognise and respond to the Australian water crisis with a cohesive plan. They rely on the false gods of private markets and energy guzzling technologies as the crisis deepens into a national emergency."
The Australian Water Network will fight for the public control of water.
We will do all in our power to ensure water-flows for threatened ecosystems. This new voice in Australia will turn the tide on the water crisis.