Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Neil Turner Weir on the Maranoa

Before the Neil Turner weir filled with sand, there were river cruises on the Maranoa, and water sports that attracted people from all over the region -- and interstate too.

When the weir was in the planning stages, locals warned that the engineering was faulty, that the weir would fill with sand. The authorities took no notice.

Before long the weir did fill with sand, to the degree that river cruises and water sports could no longer be held. This was a huge blow to this arid region, both in terms of tourism and the recreational opportunities for local people. At the present time, fishing from the bank or from a small dinghy, canoe or kayak are the only opportunities. The water is too shallow for anything else.

Local people understand the land and the river in much greater depth than so-called experts from 'away'. In order to avoid costly mistakes, it's always wise to listen carefully to the wisdom of people living and working on the land.

Far too often their voice is heard but neither recognized nor heeded.

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