This talk about moving towards a sustainable city leads me to think that the government has no idea what ecological sustainability means. Take the announcement (The Age, 17/3) about returning 7 million litres to the Yarra River. While our river will be grateful for any water returned, the quantity is a long way short of the flows that the government's own study says are needed, and the Labor Party promised at the last state election.
Last year the total amount of water that flowed down the Yarra was only 17 per cent of its long-term average natural level – a consequence of low rainfall and also the huge quantity of water taken to supply Melbourne. The returned flows will alleviate some of the stress but represent only an additional 1 per cent of the natural flow.
If the government is serious about moving towards a sustainable water future, which we are a long way from achieving, it must wean the city off draining our precious rivers for water and make much greater strides towards recycling water and capturing stormwater.
We should be recycling all our water, and we should have a tank for every roof in Melbourne. Anything less is unsustainable.
I was stunned to hear that Melburnians can shortly return to squandering water, with the promised lifting of our ''tough water restrictions'' (''Water restrictions 'never again' above stage 3'', The Age, 17/3).
After years of drought, when we have been exhorted to save, recycle, install rainwater tanks or greywater systems, the population was beginning to show that behaviour can be changed, we can become responsible consumers of the Earth's resources. Now, with a state election looming, and thanks to profligate use of the energy required by the desal plant and reallocation, all this is to count for nothing. We can return to the head-in-the-sand wasteful behaviour of years past. Shame on you, Mr Brumby.
THE Orwellian application of the letter ''a'' after stage 3 of Melbourne's water restrictions was bad enough. Presumably the stupid voters would believe that things weren't quite as bad as if we had progressed logically to level 4.
To then relax these restrictions with Victoria's water storage levels struggling, at less than 35 per cent, is poor policy and blatant political opportunism by a desperate Premier.
The transparent arrogance of such a decision, just six months out from an election, says a lot about the Brumby government and its disrespect for the people of Victoria.
MORE than ever we need real leadership from our politicians. What we don't need is a government using water that rightfully belongs in our rivers, benefiting our environment, tourism and fishing industries, to buy votes in Melbourne.
I live in Melbourne and I'm not changing my water-saving ways, Brumby. Neither should you.