Rainfall events ‘not on our side’

August 3, 2018

The rainfall predictions were not exactly what more than 130 people wanted to hear, when renowned  meteorologist and weather presenter Jane Bunn visited Deniliquin this week.

Ms Bunn told the large crowd a ‘Meteorology and Motivation’ night that she wished she had better news but the key drivers of big rainfall events “are not on our side at the moment”.

She explained that current systems in the Indian and Pacific Oceans were driving warm water away from northern Australia. Warm oceans in the north increase tropical moisture, which results in more moisture in the atmosphere.

However, there is a trend towards El Nino in the Pacific Ocean which is pushing rain away from Australia, while a positive Indian Dipole in the Indian Ocean is also driving rain away. As a consequence, there are unlikely to be big rain events from tropical systems in the next three months.

However, it was not all bad news. Ms Bunn explained there will be cold fronts from the south which have the potential to bring some rains, though it will be “hit and miss”.

The cold fronts will also bring snow to the alps, which already have good snow coverage. Well timed rain events could send melting snow to Hume and Dartmouth dams.

Executive chairman of Matrix Commodities and passionate agriculture advocate David Farley told the crowd that rural communities need to drive political change in agricultural policy.

 “Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose and negotiated your future, and did not just settle for it,” were Mr Farley’s words of advice.

Addressing the topic ‘Making good agricultural policy makes good politics’, he said Australia’s agricultural policy is the biggest limiting factor to the industry’s success.

He urged those in attendance not to settle for poor policy and legislation, and was critical of many farming representative groups which want to sit down and have pleasant discussions with decision-makers, instead of being more forceful with their demands.

Echuca journalist Sophie Baldwin delivered the message that “if you put your mind to something you can do it.”

Ms Baldwin took the audience through her emotional journey from surviving a marriage break-up to competing in one of Australia’s major ironman competitions at Cairns, in June this year.

She had an empathy with the predominantly rural-based crowd, having spent 24 years on a dairy farm.

She recalled difficult times working on the land and acknowledged that at present “times were tough”.

Now, as a journalist, she sees the struggles which many people face but urged everyone in attendance to “put your head down and bum up … (because) we will get through this”.

The ‘Meteorology and Motivation’ night was organised by West Berriquin Irrigators and the Speak Up Campaign, with support from Deniliquin Freighters. Organisers would like to acknowledge the support of local businesses including – the Deniliquin Golf Club, Agspares Deniliquin, Deniliquin Mitre 10, Deni Ute Muster and Central Celebrations Deni for their support of the event. They would also like to thank Nigel Wettenhall and John Trist for helping to make the event a success.


Caption – From back West Berriquin Irrigators chair Andrew Crossley, Russell Tait Deni Freighters, guest speaker David Farley and Sophie Baldwin. From Front Tony Kew Deniliquin Golf Club, Jane Bunn and Speak Up Chair Shelley Scoullar.

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