BULLET by wuyunyi


									                                          October 2010

               the basin
the voice of desert channels queensland

                                          I   NSIDE
                                          ƒ   Toad census
                                          ƒ   Resourceful women
                                          ƒ   Heart of Australia
                                          ƒ   There’s a place
                                          ƒ   DCQ News
CO N T E N T S                     AS I SEE IT                  E D I TO R I A L
                                   A critical part of making the most of life is learning to read. Those who don’t, find
 Tsunami!..                    3
                                   impediments every way they turn: at school, at home, socially, finding a job, driving …
 Beware the fiery wave!            discovering the magic in a book.

                                   When the early European explorers rode walked and staggered across the vast interior
 Toad census...                4   of this more-often-dry-than-not dry continent, some called it god-forsaken, others
 Count the croakers                thought it the Garden of Eden. Some struggled across parched tracts from dying
                                   waterhole to dying waterhole; some traversed endless plains with grass tickling their
                                   horses’ bellies – it depended when they struck it in the never-ending boom and bust
 Like dust on the wind...      5   cycles that fashioned its character.

 Images of remote areas.           They had learnt to read the land and the seasons of a much more reliable and wet
                                   clime, they struggled to see the words on this strange, new landscape. As with all of us,
                                   their views, and subsequent actions were fashioned by history and experience; their
 Resourceful women...          7
                                   history was of another land, their experience of this one, too short.
 Good things get better!
                                   The way our European forebears read this land was, naturally, in the only language they
                                   knew – they had yet to learn the language of a new, and vastly different, continent. The
 DCQ News...                   8   clever immersed themselves in the language of the land, absorbing every phrase, word
 Dieback and dollars               and nuance. Others simply insisted that the language they brought to these shores
                                   was what they understood and were comfortable with, and it would be sufficient.

 There is a place!             9   Big and bold, printed across the Australian landscape is a clear message: this is a dry
                                   continent, drought is the norm, make the most of a boom, the bust is on its way.
 Uluru slips from my lips …
                                   For almost 200 years we have, incrementally, ratcheted up our extraction of water from
                                   the Murray Darling system. Collectively, we have ignored the writing on the wall. A
 The nose bag                 10   whole river system is under tremendous stress.
 Spicy Burmese
                                   The draft Cooper Creek Water Resource Plan has been released for public consultation.
                                   How well have we learnt to read?
 Heart of Australia...        11
 Beats all!
                                       For more on the work of Desert Channels Queensland, visit
                                       www.dcq.org.au, email info@dcq.org.au or call 4658 0600.
                                                                                                                                    had a fire risk through this region,” he said. Pastoralists know
                                                                                                                                    this only too well, a decade of drought and near-drought had
                                                                                                                                    left little to fuel the games of lightening and humans.

                                                                                                                                    The green grass of late 2010 is changing all that; with an added
                                                                                                                                    component. Bouyant markets and the shift from a fibre-based
                                                                                                                                    economy to one where the currency is kilograms of beef, has
                                                                                                                                    meant a shift in property ownership and remote population.
                                                                                                                                    There are more absentee land owners and lease holders
                                                                                                                                    today than at any time since settlement. The expectation

                                                                                                                                    for numbers to turn up at a fire today are far less than even a
                                                                                                                                    decade ago. How do you combat a bush fire in the face of this

                                                                                                                                    depopulation phenomena?
                                                                 embraced by all or the cost of loss of grass and profit could be
                                                                                                                                    “Land holders, more than ever, have to take responsibility for
                                                                 high, Larry goes on to say. More than that, fire can cost lives,
                                                                                                                                    fireproofing, as best they can, their own properties,” said Larry
                                                                 property and equipment. All Australians know only too well
                                                                                                                                    Lewis. “Land managers must implement their own programs
                                                                 that fire is the tsunami, the earthquake, the volcano, of this
                                                                                                                                    of fire mitigation by having sufficient breaks and strip burning.”
                                                                 driest inhabited continent on the planet.
A great year, this 2010, for most pastoralists in                                                                                   Larry pointed out that there is also a problem of younger and
                                                                 More than 20 people gathered at the over-horizon-radar-
the West. Early rains have produced a huge body                                                                                     less experienced people on some properties. “We can supply
                                                                 facility close to Stonehenge in October, all members of the
of grass. This abundant potential fuel, mixed with                                                                                  training to any of the rural brigades, we have trainers on hand
                                                                 Stonehenge and the Valetta bush fire brigades. Storm clouds
a decreased rural population means an explosive                                                                                     to do that.”
                                                                 built heavily in the sky, and radar images on members’iPhones
situation throughout Western Queensland. Now                     displayed the onslaught of yet another band of storms. We          Each region should have a reasonably advanced plan on hand
is the time to prepare for … FIRE!                               ate steak and burgers and barbecued prawns and talked              should fire break out. We can maintain safety and control if we
                                                                 of weather, the season and fire, to the background rumble          plan, reduce risks, work together, share plant and equipment,
                                                                 of approaching thunder. Larry Lewis was relaxing after two         and train our younger people.
The rain seems to keep coming and it’s not even the ‘usual’
                                                                 hours explaining to the meeting the threats and the defences
beginning of the Wet Season. While the definition of‘usual’and                                                                      There also will be an increased dependency on agencies such
                                                                 of an extraordinary season.
‘normal’are being redefined before our eyes and no one really                                                                       as regional and shire councils because of the reduction of
knows where the weather patterns are heading, we do know         This was just one of a whirlwind tour throughout Central West      population.
we are in a good year. Most of the country through Western       Queensland for Larry Lewis - blue uniformed and preaching a        The Rural Fire Service has lifted the proscribed total fire ban
Queensland is grass rich, which means a good bottom line for     gospel of safety and preparedness. “It’s been years since we’ve    that runs from October to January. The early rains have ruled
pastoral enterprises. It also means the potential to lose this
body of grass – through fire.

However, we can be safe according to Rural Fire Service Area
                                                                       “Land holders, more than ever, have to take responsibility
Coordinator Larry Lewis. “We have to be prepared,” said Larry.
“Things are changing in Western Queensland and we have to              for fireproofing, as best they can, their own properties ...”
develop new strategies.” And these new strategies need to be
FIRE DAnGER                                                  Cane Toad Detectives on the Search
  that unnecessary, but the danger is only being             One of our most unwanted pests, the cane toad, may be           selected areas by foot over eight nights to expose their
    postponed. All landholders are urged to know             invading our territory faster than we realise. To investigate   whereabouts along the Thompson River and Cooper
      their local or regional Fire Warden. “And it’s         the extent of these croakers, Biosecurity South Australia       Creek between Stonehenge and the South Australian
        best to join as a volunteer fire fighter,” Larry
                                                             will be putting their detective hats on to track them           border at Innamincka. Tracking down these terrors will
          advised, “as you’re covered by insurance
              and you get your PPE (Personal                 down, scope their range and arm us with information             be a soggy quest into cane toad territory, typically being
               Protection Equipment). Plus there is a        ammunition to bust them.                                        around fresh waterholes, river beds, shallow ponds and
               wide range of fire fighting equipment                                                                         still and slow flowing waters.
            available at significantly reduced cost.”        native to Central America, cane toads were brought into
                                                             Australia in the early 20th century as a biological control     Sound, light and GPS action will create the setting for the
           A video has been produced by landholders
         and the Rural Fire Service focussing on ‘dry fire   agent for beetles infesting sugar cane crops. Cane toads        toads to show themselves to the surveyors. Cane toad call
       fighting’ on downs country. This video explains       have become prolific in Australia due to favourable             backs will be played, fluorescent lights will attract their
   fire fighting strategies, the use of the grader, back     conditions and the lack of predators. Our native and            favourite insect food and GPS data loggers will be used
 burning, the Brompton Rat and the Western Fire              domestic animals are at threat from these troublesome           to record locations and attributes of any toads found.
 Beater. Copies of this video can be obtained for            toads as they release powerful toxins when under extreme        Giveaway signs for toad detectives are the shine of the
  showing at rural group meetings. For the video             stress, like being eaten, and can kill even a large dog.        cane toad’s eye, egg strands, tadpoles, and juvenile and
    or any information, Larry Lewis and his people
                                                                                                                             mature toads.
     can be contacted at the Rural Fire Service HQ in        If you have ever walked along the Thompson River
      Barcaldine on (07) 4651 1190.
                                                             around Longreach before rain at night, you may have             The new information of the toads’ location, range and
    no one is suggesting that we face the dangers of         encountered these slow jumping, leathery backed toads           other data will be used to improve monitoring methods
    the great Eucalypt forests in Southern Australia,        at your feet. Cane toads have migrated 120 kilometres           for the area and raise community awareness of cane toad
    but history speaks. Here in the West people have
                                                             downstream from Longreach to Lochern nation Park,                                  movements and the importance of
     died, homesteads have been lost, great grass
      fires have raged for weeks, equipment has              where observations have increased from a few in the                                         reporting sightings.
       burned, millions of dollars (today’s value) of        spring of 2009 to hundreds a year later. At Stonehenge,
                 infrastructure has been lost and            a further 35km downstream from Lochern national Park,
                        annual income slashed                the toads have been seen for the first time ever. Sightings
                               through fires that            have also been reported as far downstream as Windorah,
                                     have got out of         another 136km from Stonehenge.
                                       hand. History
                                       is repetitive, so     Biosecurity SA plan to catch the toads in the act, in the
                                      take care…
                                                             early november warmth when they are active
                                                             and breeding. Toad surveyors will search sixteen
LIKE DUST ON THE WIND…                                                    images from remote places

Musicians, writers, poets and painters constantly strive to convey
the beauty and fragility of our world; there’s an impulse to express
ideas and connect with other people. When they succeed we
feel a shock of recognition as their words or images illuminate
familiar scenes and feelings.
                                                           JENNy JaUczIUS
Thick storm clouds roll in and a dirt road extends toward the horizon; you can
almost smell the moisture in the air. A railway sign, riddled with bullet holes, stands
beneath a searingly blue sky; evoking summer’s baking heat. Merely flat images
painted on paper or canvas, but still able to stir the memory and transport us to
far-flung places.

                                          Landscapes and portraits tell stories, and we             His job, as a Technical Officer with the Australian
                                          share the experience. We’ve all seen slender gums        Weather Bureau, has taken us to isolated postings:
                                          silhouetted against the indigo-pink of twilight, or a    Meekatharra, Forrest, Carnarvon, Eucla, norfolk
                                          decaying fence post amid dry grass. We can relate        Island, and now Longreach. The red deserts of the
                                          to the child on a lonely bush track, the grizzled        north-west, endless nullarbor horizons, towering
                                          fisherman or smiling market gardener.                    norfolk pines, and the Channel Country’s harsh
                                                                                                   beauty have all inspired Adam.
                                          My husband, Adam Jauczius (Yow-chus), is a self-
                                          taught artist. Encouraged by his mother and              There are cherished pictures of our children, dogs,
                                          grandmother, he’s been painting and drawing              friends and relatives, and four portraits of norfolk
                                          since childhood. Picasso once said: “Painting is just    Islanders were featured in a 2008 stamp series.
                                          another way of keeping a diary” and, since 1981,         There have been eight solo exhibitions, numerous
                                          I’ve watched him record images from our life in          group shows, competitions, awards, commissions
                                          pencil, ink, watercolour, acrylic, oil and pastel. The   and a booklet. Last year we collaborated on a
                                          people and places we saw became subject matter           book: In the lee of norfolk Island; a memento - in
                                          for Adam’s art.                                          paintings, sketches and stories - of five years spent
                                                                                                   on that distant and fascinating island.
LIKE DUST ON THE WIND…                           continued
                                                                                             J E n n Y   J A U C z I U S
                              West Magazine journalist Mark Thornton believes Adam’s
                              work is “… more than just an exercise in photo-realism.
                              Each goes beyond that, suggesting something larger
                              than life, something perhaps even mystical.” Samela
                              Harris, Arts Editor for The Advertiser, said he “...captures
                              the indomitable spirit of the desert, repeatedly showing
                              the fragile, finite nature of man’s intrusions.”

                              As Adam’s wife I have a particularly personal insight on
                              the artworks he creates. I see the rituals involved in
                              setting up brushes, pastels and paints – the long hours
                              hunched over drawing boards and easels – and the paint
                              stains on every t-shirt he owns. I bring him coffee and
                              listen to the music of Cash, Kristofferson and Springsteen
                              emanating from his ‘studio’ (usually the shed or spare
                              room). Our teenagers, though proud of him, are used to
                              the jewel-like images, and detailed sketches, he conjures
                              from canvas, paper and pigments.

   Adam’s portrait of Smithy, bush character and Eucla fisherman,
   is currently on display at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame,
   and his next exhibition will be held at The Qantas Founders Outback
   Museum in February, 2011. !

                              Ultimately Adam paints to please himself, his loved ones
                              and those who, like dust on the wind, are familiar with
                              the stark, haunting imagery of remote places and people.
   Creating opportunities
  For two years, DCQ’s Colleen James, has been creating opportunities for women in
  remote areas of the State. Through their Landholder Support Service Project, Colleen
  has run four major workshops, at Bedourie, Boulia, Eromanga and Tambo, that have                            develop their skills, knowledge and
  built on the natural resourcefulness of the region’s women.                                                 understanding about natural
                                                                                                              resource management and
                                                                                                              personal development,”
   “During the past two years the workshops have       The 73 attendees included ladies from 33               she said.
   been focusing on the issues that are being          pastoral properties, five shires and eight rural
   faced by rural and remote women and have            townships, with benefits from the workshops            Lisa Kelly of Headingly
   covered isolated communities across one-third       reaching out into the wider communities                Station in the far north-
   of Queensland,” she said.                           through the networks formed that were formed           west of the region
                                                       as a result.                                           appreciated the opportunity to get
   “Although isolation is usually a huge barrier,                                                             up to date on what is out there for the
   we were able to create opportunities for            “The workshop was certainly worthwhile. All            rural community, both learning wise
   rural women to build networks and access            the speakers were really approachable and we           and funding wise. She also thought the
   information and training that have often been       now have new contacts in the various fields that       course had a very friendly comfortable
   difficult to get in far western Queensland,” said   are available to us,” said nina Mayne of Tarabah       atmosphere.
   Colleen. “After speaking with local women we        Station near Tambo.
   tailored programs to suit the needs of each                                                                The workshops were made possible by
   region with over 27 different topics covered        The Eromanga course reinvigorated Bernadette           funding from the Queensland
   across the 8 days of the 4 workshops.”              from Burkobulla through meeting with other             Government’s      Blue
                                                       women in the same situation and being                  Print for the Bush
                                                       reminded that there are a lot of good things           Program.
“You learn so much about yourself ...”
                                                       about life out west. “You learn so much about
                                                       yourself and how to run your life and business
   The topics covered ranged from personal             better,” she said.
   development and business development to
   natural Resource Management. Partnerships           Julia Telford of Swift nRM facilitated the naturally
   between DCQ and many businesses and                 Resourceful women’s workshops along with
   agencies allowed participants to build their        DCQ. “We aim to provide local women
   professional networks and build on the training     with the networks and tools to build on
   received.                                           their resourceful nature, enhance their
                                                       involvement in communities and
                                                                 DIEBACK FEEDBACK                                                MORE CARE FOR COUnTRY
                                                                 The first lot of results from the parkinsonia dieback           Two significant DCQ projects were successful in the
                                                                 trials are beginning to role in. Over 50 sites have             recent competitive bid round of Caring for our Country
                                                                 been established from Eulo to normanton to                      funding. Pigs Might Fly involves pig control in the
                                                                 monitor the effectiveness of the parkinsonia                    lower part of our catchments, and will dovetail with
                                                                 dieback fungus in different land types. You can see             efforts by the South Australian Arid Area Lands Board to
                                                                 the promotional video (‘Science in the Paddock –                keep the pest out of the north-east of South Australia.
                                                                 a Fungal Solution’) produced by DC Solutions at                 Recording of Traditional Ecological Knowledge will
                                                                 www.youtube.com/user/DesertChannels                             see the recording of traditional ecological knowledge
                                                                                                                                 across one-third or Queensland. The project teams for
                                                                                                                                 both projects are currently involved in the preliminary
Dieback and dollars - things continue to roll                                                                                    planning stages.

                                                                                                                                 IMPULSE TO COnSERVE
‘SERIES EnDS                                                     KEEPInG In TOUCH
                                                                                                                                 This great coffee table book Desert Channels. Desert
Bedourie was the latest, and final, venue for DCQ’s highly       In today’s electronic age, it is far easier to stay in touch,   Channels – The Impulse to Conserve celebrates our
successful naturally Resourceful Women’s Workshops.              both personally and professionally, but nothing can             distinctive region through the observations, passions
This two day workshop, funded by Blue Print for the              take the place of a face-to-face meeting where you              and experiences of graziers, conservation enthusiasts,
Bush, saw the Brisbane presenter brought to the centre           share experiences and gather knowledge from others.             historians, artists, Indigenous owners, and biologists.
of the room via a web-conference link. The series has                                                                            Illustrations by celebrated artist, Mandy Martin,
covered remote centres including Bedourie, Boulia,               Leanne Kohler, our CEO, entertained the annual                  are supported by numerous photographs from the
Eromanga and Tambo with great support from those                 Landcare conference with the ‘sexy, the not so sexy and         contributors. For your copy, contact CSIRO Publishing
communities.                                                     the downright ugly!’ that covered 8 years of lessons            at www.publish.csiro.au/desertchannels
                                                                 learnt, community engagement and capacity building.

MAPS GALORE                                                      Mike Chuk and Colleen James attended the biennial
                                                                 Rangelands Conference held in Burke, to network with
We have a new baby! Stocks of the updated Lake Eyre              people who share their issues and challenges, from
Basin map have finally arrived. The redesign and update          around Australia and the world.
of this iconic map was funded by the Lake Eyre Basin
                                                                 Alun Hoggett’s attendance at the Lake Eyre Basin
Ministerial Forum and undertaken by DC Solutions.
                                                                 conference in Alice Springs was two-fold. As project
Get your own copy of this beautifully presented and
                                                                 manager of the recent update of the Lake Eyre Basin
highly informative map of one of the world’s most
                                                                 map, he was on hand for the official launch which was
significant inland river systems from 07 4658 0600 or
                                                                 enthusiastically received. Alun was also involved in
                                                                 the very early days of the Lake Eyre Basin community
                                                                 process and took part in a conference session reflecting
                                                                 on those times.
T H E r E I S a p L ac E                                                                       Hold that thought!
                                                    H E L E n AV E RY                                               EnERGY SnIPPETS
Uluru slips from my lips like a song,       This is a place that snares the dreams of man,
a sacred symbol of the nation’s heart,      where man is minuscule                                                  Until recently, renewable energy
                                                                                                                    such as solar, tidal, wave and wind,
but I have known a far more subtle place,   and needs a soul burnt clean of greed                                   were thought of as a quaint passion
somewhere beneath the heart –               to truly read the secrets of her seasons,                               of greenies and unrealistic loons.
                                                                                                                    Well, think again …
a sunburnt remnant of a prehistoric sea,    a void, so graced with nature’s miracles
                                                                                               In July, 2010, the Solar Impulse aircraft, powered entirely
a paradox.                                  the spirits sing.
                                                                                               from the sun, took off under its own power and completed
                                                                                               a 24 hour flight including 9 hours through the darkness.
                                                                                               Iceland currently gets 75% of its energy from renewable
This is a time worn land                    Man’s span of time is but a single breath,         sources, norway 50%, Sweden 33%, US 10%, UK 7%,
where empty rivers drift through plains     yet, if we leave a legacy behind                   Australia 6%.
stretched naked underneath a sky            let it be this – that we have left unscarred       About 0.2% of the energy in ocean waves would power
so vast that space is infinite,             a subtle place – a fragile corner                  the entire planet; 0.02% of available solar energy would do
                                                                                               the same.
a barren land that springs                  in a frantic world – a place where man and land
                                                                                               The US has 4.5% of world population, consumes 25% of
when touched with rain, to Paradise.        are linked by threads as tenuous as life itself.   global energy, and produces 22% of the world’s GDP.
                                            I sat out in the darkness,                         A fuel cell that utilises hydrogen out of natural gas is to
                                                                                               provide 100% of power to a complex of shops and 500
                                                                                               hundred apartments in the US. Hydrogen is also used to
         “...l e t i t be this – that we have left unscarred                                   power cars; its main emission is water.
         a s u b tle place – a fragile corner...”                                              And for a reality check, the latest results form a 10 year
                                                                                               study into the effect of increased atmospheric CO2 on
                                                                                               plant growth has found that growth is stimulated by
                                                                                               increased CO2 for about 5 years, but then decreases as
                                                                                               the plant runs out of nutrients. The upshot? Plants have
                                                                                               limited ability to absorb atmospheric CO2.
                                                           BUrmESE cHIcKEN cUrry.
The Nose Bag
                                                           YOU WILL nEED:
                                                           3 tbs peanut oil

some like it hot ...                                       2 onions, finely sliced
                                                           6 very large cloves garlic, finely chopped
                                                           3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
                                                           2-4 small red chillies (seeds and all), finely chopped
                                                           6 nice fat cardamon pods
                                                           2 teaspoons turmeric
                                                           1 1/4 tablespoons sweet paprika
It’s not every day I share
                                                           3 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
 a recipe, not even with my
                                                           1 x 140 ml can coconut cream
 family, but I thought I’d                                 1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes
 make an exception for my                                  8 large whole chicken thighs, skin on or off
  first edition of the Bullet.

These cornflake biscuits are                               Warm the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the
                                                           onions, garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for about 15 minutes,
  not only top shelf they are                              stirring from time to time, until the onion is just golden.
   easy to make and always                                 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Crush the cardamon pods and
                                                           scrape out the fragrant black seeds. Crush seeds in a mortar
    manage to bring about a                                and pestle, then add to the onion mixture, along with the
           nostalgic moment.                               turmeric, paprika and curry paste. Cook for another couple of
                                                           minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat.
                                                           Put the chicken into a large baking tin or casserole dish. Pour
                                                           the spice mixture over them, then turn the chicken around
                                                           and around until it’s well coated. now just bake it, uncovered,
                                                           for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, turning the chicken once after 40
                                                           minutes. When you take the curry out of the oven, there may
Australia’s traditional corned beef and potato palate is   be a thin film of oil from the coconut cream on top. To remove
now much more international, and there are many places     it, just soak it up with some paper towels. Transfer the curry to
                                                           a warm serving bowl. Sprinkle with a few sprigs of herbs and
where you can walk up the street and find yourself,        serve it with lime wedges, and jasmine rice. Mmmmm!
gastronomically speaking, in another country. Burma
borders Thailand, and there is a great deal of crossover   The recipe comes from ‘Belinda Jeffrey’s 100 favourite recipes’.
between their cuisines.
The ‘Heart of Australia’: a place like no other
Get your Lake Eyre Basin
poster map from:
Desert Channels Queensland
(07) 4658 0600
92 Galah St (PO Box 601)
Longreach Q 4730
This edition was produced in
partnership between the Lake
Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum and
Desert Channels Queensland.

D E S I G n A n D L AYO U T BY D C S O LU T I O n S
                                                      Desert Channels Queensland is funded by


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