Cotton Australia reports the average irrigation requirement for growing cotton is 7.8 megalitres per hectare. Chinese-owned Cubby Station cotton plantation in outback drought-prone Queensland covers 49,000 ha. In total, cotton growers in Australia irrigate 580,000 hectares where water is ephemeral. And their business model subsists for cotton export only.
So irrigated cotton multinationals in outback Australia require some 4,524,000 megalitres (4500 gigalitres) of scarce potable water so the Chinese owners can export all Cubby’s cotton back to Shandong in bloody China.
That’s the water flow that the Darling River needs to keep flowing.
In drought-prone outback Australia growing cotton is not just selfish. It’s bloody stupid dreamin’ because the Darling River is drought prone.
Sold down the Darling River
Cotton grown in Australia is grown on cheap marginal land dependent massively on artificial irrigation, fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides.
So it’s a fake crop for Australia.
According to Cotton Australia’s website, all cotton grown is exported to Third World slave labour countries China, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Pakistan. These same growers export 1.25 billion kilograms of cottonseed for cattle fodder in Japan, Korea, China and America.
In the process, Cotton Australia couldn’t give a shit about neighbouring graziers or downstream water users. Like if anyone dares question a cotton export grower about water theft, all’s theys get is.. “Are you out of your cotton-picking mind, boy?”
Cotton is traditionally grown in high-rainfall nations like China (33 million bales), India (27 million bales), America’s South 18 million bales, Pakistan (10 million bales) and Brazil 9 million bales). So fairly, why doesn’t Australia just let these high rainfall nations retain their traditional competitive advantage in cotton growing? Australia exports to these countries, so in fair exchange we should just import cotton from these countries – beats Canberra gifting foreign aid, when hardship Aussies need our own tax revenue.
The marginal Murray-Darling Basin cannot obviously sustain thirsty cotton growing, end of story!
There’s no need for bloody bureaucratic Murray–Darling Basin studies, plans, reports, authorities, committees, or ‘tell-us-something-we-don’t-know‘ royal commissions.
Growing Cotton in the Australian desert is bloody dreamin!
No Australian cotton goes to Australians. It says everything about this gouging industry. It’s corruptly propped up by financial deals with The Nationals – “donate to my election campaign and I’ll gladly turn a blind eye to ya irrigation fraud.”
Cotton Australia members are all cotton exporters.
- Auscott Limited – Wayne Towns
- Brighann Ginning TBC
- Carroll Cotton Company – Scott Davies
- Central Highlands Cotton Growers’ & Irrigators’ Association Inc. – Ross Burnett
- Cotton Seed Distributors – James Quinn
- Crop Consultants Australia Ltd – Jamie Iker
- Cubbie Ginning Pty Ltd – Paul Brimblecombe
- Darling Downs Cotton Growers’ Inc. – Brett Crothers, David Walton
- Darling River Food and Fibre – Tony Thompson
- Dawson Valley Cotton Growers’ Association – Mitch Anderson
- Dirranbandi Cotton Growers’ Association – Scott Balsillie
- Gwydir Valley Cotton Growers’ Association – Murray Connor, Henry Moses
- Louis Dreyfus – Tony Geitz
- Lower Namoi Cotton Growers Association – Geoff O’Neill, Brendon Warnock
- Macintyre Valley Cotton Growers’ Association – Nigel Corish, James Duddy
- Macquarie Cotton Growers’ Association – Stewart Denston, Sinclair Steele
- Menindee & Lower Darling Cotton Growers’ Association TBC
- Mungindi Water Users’ & Cotton Growers’ Association – Sam Heagney
- Namoi Cotton Co-op – Joe Robinson
- North West Ginning Pty Ltd – Naomi Mulligan
- Queensland Cotton Corporation Limited – Matt McVeigh
- RivCott Pty Ltd – Peter Tuohey
- Southern Cotton – Kate O’Callaghan
- Southern Valleys Cotton Growers’ Association – John Durham, Richard Malone
- St George Cotton Growers’ Association – Rebecca Lindert
- Tandou Ltd (TBC)
- Upper Namoi Cotton Growers’ Association – Nick Beer, Scott McCalman
- Walgett Cotton Growers’ Association – Bernie Bierhoff, Jack Harris
- Wathagar Ginning Company.
Meanwhile downstream at Menindee Lakes