Kayak for Earth - heading to Melbourne

The folly of the State Government’s North-South pipeline water policy will be exposed by author, adventurer and lifelong water-engineer Steve Posselt, as he paddles and drags a kayak from Echuca to Melbourne, beginning August 1. Steve arrived in Melbourne on sunday Aug 16.

[most recent press releases are at the top - scroll down to get the background info on this trip]

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[below: Steve arrives at Federation Wharf, in the city]

Please meet Steve as he arrives in Melbourne - this Sunday 16th  at 1.00pm at Federation Wharf (just on the river side of Federation Square in the city).

More details here: http://www.kayak4earth.com/blog.html#itinerary

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Media release
Wednesday 12th August, 2009

Kayak man takes to the road


The lone kayaker on an expedition from Echuca to Melbourne has left the Goulburn River and taken to the Melba Highway in the second leg of his epic journey.

“I’m very glad not to be paddling up-hill,” he said. “The river gets steeper and steeper from Shepparton to here and walking over the Great Dividing Range will be a doddle.”

The kayak with wheels was constructed at Posselt’s engineering company Watergates, which he sold to fund his expeditions down the Darling and Murray Rivers, down the Mary River, by sea from Brisbane to Sydney and now up the Goulburn River and down the Yarra to Melbourne.

Posselt is passionate about saving the Murray River after realizing that the industry he has worked in for 30 years has had a major role to play in destroying it.

“As the Murray dies from the mouth up, we are all beginning to realise that our rainfall is disappearing, the landscape is drying up and southern Australia will not be able to supply the food we need,” he said.

He is mounting this latest expedition to bring attention to the folly of spending more than a billion dollars to build a pipeline to take water from a dying river system for the city of Melbourne.

“The people of Melbourne are not thieves,” he said. “When they understand the plight of the river, they will insist that their government harvest stormwater, provide rain tanks and help them become more efficient users of water. Melbourne has alternatives, the river does not,” he said.

Posselt expects to arrive at Federation Wharf below Federation Square on Sunday 16th August at 1:00pm. Farmers and towns people from the Goulburn Valley are expected to welcome him there, along with environmental and water groups from Melbourne.

More information about the expedition can be obtained from www.kayak4earth.com

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Media alert
Wednesday 12 August 2009 9:30am

Kayak expedition rallies at pump station


The Cry Me a River expedition being mounted from Echuca to Melbourne this month will leave the Killingworth pump station on the Goulburn River near Yea, tomorrow morning.

Local opponents of the North South pipeline as well as supporters who have followed the expedition over the last 11 days will rally at the pump station to state their opposition to the pipeline and their support for the expedition.

The expedition has been extensively covered by local media as well as Red Symonds and Lateline in Melbourne. The issue is becoming more critical as irrigators face another season with no irrigation water and the government insists it is owed 75 billion litres of reserve.

Further details are available from Giovanni Ebono on 0402 779 375 or 0438 138 982

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Media alert

Shepparton Peter Ross-Edwards Causeway

10:00am Thursday August 6

Farmers and environmentalists Cry For the River


The Cry Me a River expedition will attend a major public meeting on its way to Melbourne this Thursday morning. The lone kayaker, Steve Posselt, has galvanized irate farmers to join activists Friends of the Earth and Plug the Pipe and concerned citizens in a trek to Melbourne to protest against the North South pipeline.

The issue has been hotly contested for some time now, but the combination of locals from a wide range of backgrounds, city based activists and major political support is building enormous momentum.

Complementary footage of the launch in Echuca and Steve Posselt’s struggle up the river will be available to news crews attending the event. 

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Tuesday 4th August

Footage shows folly of Goulburn water


“The announcement on Monday that there is not enough water in the Goulburn for irrigators is no surprise,” according to water engineer and wetlands advocate, Steve Posselt.

“What is surprising is that the government was not expecting it,” he said.

Posselt and his Kayak 4 earth team have been examining the Food Bowl Modernisation Project first hand, recording and filming the implementation of the new infrastructure and the impact it is having on people’s lives.

“It is obvious that most of the savings from the proposed project are imaginary and billions are being spent for a massively negative result,” Posselt said.

Kayak4earth has recorded the disappearance of natural lagoons that were slightly modified by traditional irrigators to provide water during lean times and kept full using outfall from irrigation channels. The elimination of outfalls to “save” water for the environment has resulted in the death of these ancient lagoons.

The same thing is happening across the entire Goulburn Valley.

“The greatest crime is that massive volumes of water are being pumped out of a dying river system,” Posselt said. “The Murray is dying from the mouth up and we are sending water over the mountain to Melbourne where three percent of it will be drunk and the rest used once and flushed out to sea.”

He believes that cities need to reuse water a number of times to reduce their environmental footprint.

He is one quarter of the way into an expedition paddling and dragging his kayak from Echuca to Melbourne to bring attention to the plight of the Goulburn.

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MEDIA ALERT July 21 2009

Cry Me A River – Pipeline Policy A Real Drag


The folly of the State Government’s North-South pipeline water policy will be exposed by author, adventurer and lifelong water-engineer Steve Posselt, as he paddles and drags a kayak from Echuca to Melbourne, beginning August 1.

The already stressed nature of the Goulburn River system means Posselt will be forced to trek over hills and dried out parts of the River before he reaches Melbourne on August 16.  

The Government has begun building the contentious North-South pipeline, which will drain 75 billion litres of water each year from the Goulburn River near Yea following its completion, piping it over the Great Dividing Range and into Melbourne.

Posselt aims to highlight the plight of already struggling rural communities that will be severely affected by the pipeline.

“Please have a heart Melbourne,” Posselt said before embarking on the trip. “Don’t let the Government steal this precious water. The river needs it. We have alternatives - the river does not”.

Dedicated to water conservation, Posselt has previously paddled and dragged his kayak from Brisbane to Adelaide – along the entire Darling and Lower Murray Rivers, documented in his book Cry Me A River.

Posselt feels similarly passionate against the Brumby Government’s North-South pipeline.

“Almost as much rain falls on Melbourne as Melbourne uses and what are we doing about that? When there is not enough water to go round, no amount of large-scale engineering will get us out of trouble. In fact, it usually makes things worse,” Posselt said.

Beginning in Echuca on August 1, local riverboats will provide a send-off for Posselt, tooting horns and waving flags as he sets off on his arduous journey. He will then stop at Shepparton, Murchison, Nagambie, Seymour and the site of the Melbourne Water Pump Facility at Killingworth near Yea.

He has the support of other water saving groups including Watermark Australia, an initiative of the Victorian Women’s Trust, which published the community-based publication ‘Our Water Mark - Australians making a difference in water reform’.

“There are far better and more sensible government solutions,” author of ‘Our Water Mark’ Mary Crooks said of the North-South pipeline.

Crooks nominated a number of water saving alternatives the Government had failed to properly explore, instead opting for a quick-fix unsustainable pipeline.

“All of Melbourne - homes, businesses and industry has to become truly water-efficient, with much more storm-water being captured and recycled, as well as residences being fitted with water saving devices,” Crooks explained.

Posselt will paddle into Melbourne via the Yarra River on August 16, finishing at Federation Square, where people from the city who share his concerns will join him to make a plea for common sense water decisions.

For further information contact Steve Posselt on 0438 138 982. Steve is happy to talk with media along his journey.

Further details here.




 

Key events:

 

Saturday 1st Depart Echuca
10.00am

Wednesday 5th Arrive
Shepparton 4.30pm

Friday 7th Arrive
Murchison 12.00 noon

Sunday 9th Arrive Seymour
3.00pm

Tuesday 11th Arrive
Killingworth 4.00pm

Wednesday 12th Depart
Killingworth 10.00am

Thursday 13th Arrive Yarra
Glen 5.00pm

Sunday 16th arrive in
Melbourne at 1.00pm at Federation Wharf