Finlayson, B.L.; Peel, M.C., and McMahon, T.A., 2012. Discussion of: Finkl, C.W. and Cathcart, R.B., 2011. The “Morning Glory” Project: A Papua New Guinea–Queensland Australia undersea freshwater pipeline, Journal of Coastal Research, 27(4), 607–618.
Finkl and Cathcart have proposed a macroengineering project to deliver water from the Fly River in Papua New Guinea via an undersea pipeline into northeast Australia, routed down the Diamantina River and thence into Lake Eyre. The proposal has historical antecedents but its scientific basis is very weak. No case is made for the usefulness or demand for the water in Australia. Little consideration is given to the environmental, social, and political issues that such a scheme would involve. Scientific papers that are referenced in support of the arguments in the paper in many cases do not deal with the issues on which they are quoted. The authors appear to have little understanding of the geography of the areas they are discussing, which leads them to make many erroneous assertions about these places. The paper contains a considerable amount of irrelevant and trivial material, such as the life history of HMS Fly. The subject matter of the paper lies well outside the stated subject area of the Journal of Coastal Research.