My letter to Minister Burney

Oct 5, 2023, 2:16 PM
Dear Minister Burney,
The FOWTOR model suggests that the number of reps that need to be elected to establish the Voice to Canberra should be divisible by 31, which would suggest a good number would be 62. This number 62 would provide 2 members per region. The FOWTOR regional boundaries have been tested against the original Aboriginal nations map and, while they don't always line up, there are good reasons why they usually are the same, or very close. I am preparing 31 white papers on FOWTOR regional outlines which include the boundaries for Indigenous nations. I would be happy to discuss this at any time.
I include here the current state of play for the Wonthaggi region (Melbourne and its hinterland) white paper. This is a good example of what each White Paper is attempting to achieve. 
This can be read online at

AI* - presentation of FOWTOR Wonthaggi region (Melbourne)

Title: "Sustaining Waters, Nurturing Communities: A FOWTOR-Based Approach to Wonthaggi's Regional Flourish"

I. Introduction

  • Introduce the Wonthaggi region, located in Victoria, and its membership in the Snowy River Protection super region, emphasizing its unique attributes and regional significance.
  • Highlight the region's potential for environmental stewardship, community well-being, and sustainable development.

II. Flow-of-Water Top-of-Ridge (FOWTOR) Framework

  • Provide an overview of the FOWTOR model and its relevance to regional planning.
  • Explain that the Wonthaggi's regional boundaries are defined by water flows, including the mentioned rivers, creeks, and dams.
  • Water flows defining the FOWTOR region: Snowy River, Barwon River, Moorabool River, Petterson River, West Moorabool River, Yarra River, Yarrowee River
  • Incorporating political structures and governance into the Flow-of-Water Top-of-Ridge (FOWTOR) model is essential for effective regional management and representation. Here's how this aspect can be integrated into the model:

III. Governance and Representation

  • Describe Melbourne as the regional capital responsible for administrative coordination and regional activities.
  • Highlight the importance of effective governance and representation in addressing the region's unique needs and priorities within the Snowy River Protection super region.
  • Regional Capital: Each FOWTOR region should have a designated regional capital, which serves as the administrative center for that particular region. This capital city or town is responsible for coordinating regional activities, liaising with state and local governments, and representing the region's interests at the federal level. It acts as the hub for regional decision-making and administrative functions.
  • Describe Melbourne as the regional capital responsible for administrative coordination and regional activities.
  • Highlight the importance of effective governance and representation in addressing the region's unique needs and priorities.
  • Indigenous Representative Body (The Voice): To ensure that the FOWTOR region's interests are effectively communicated and advocated at the federal level, a representative body known as "The Voice" is likely to be established. This body comprises elected representatives from the region, who are responsible for articulating the region's needs, concerns, and priorities to the federal government in Canberra.

    The Voice serves as a direct link between the nations in the FOWTOR region and the federal government, advocating for policies, resources, and investments that align with the region's 13 objectives. These objectives encompass various aspects, including natural resource management, infrastructure development, social services, and Indigenous rights.

  • By establishing a regional capital and The Voice, the FOWTOR model ensures that each region has a structured approach to engage with federal, state, and local governments. This political framework empowers regions to have a voice in the governance process, advocate for their unique needs, and work collaboratively with various levels of government to achieve their objectives.

IV. Regional Engagement - 13 Key Objectives

  • Present the 13 key objectives specific to the Wonthaggi region, covering areas such as natural resource management, infrastructure development, social services, and cultural preservation.
  • Emphasize the importance of aligning policies and resource allocation with these objectives for regional advancement and environmental sustainability.
  • The Flow-of-Water Top-of-Ridge (FOWTOR) model is a comprehensive framework for regionalism in Australia that considers various aspects of geography, environment, and development. This model is based on the natural flow of water along ridges and encompasses the following key elements:

  • (1) Natural Resource Management: FOWTOR-based regionalism informs strategies for managing Australia's diverse natural resources within distinct watershed regions. These regions are essential for safeguarding unique ecosystems and wildlife habitats.

  • (2) Water Resource Allocation: By delineating watersheds along ridges, FOWTOR analysis aids in the equitable allocation of water resources across the country. This ensures sustainable use and minimizes conflicts in agriculture, industry, and urban areas.

  • (3) Climate Adaptation Planning: Different FOWTOR regions exhibit varying climate patterns and vulnerability to climate change impacts. Regionalism guides climate adaptation plans, tailoring strategies to address specific challenges in each region.

  • (4) Agricultural Zoning: FOWTOR-based regionalism assists in zoning for agriculture, aligning land use with natural water availability and soil quality. This approach promotes efficient and sustainable agricultural practices.

  • (5) Biodiversity Conservation: Prioritizing biodiversity conservation is a core component of the FOWTOR model. It identifies regions with unique ecosystems or high levels of endemism as targets for conservation efforts.

  • (6) Land Use Planning: When planning urban and rural development, FOWTOR regionalism helps identify suitable areas for settlement while considering factors like water availability, flood risks, and environmental sensitivity.

  • (7) Disaster Risk Reduction: Understanding water flow along ridges is essential for mitigating flood risks and planning disaster-resistant infrastructure in flood-prone areas.

  • (8) Indigenous Land Management: Incorporating FOWTOR-based regionalism into land management practices respects the Indigenous knowledge of local environments, fostering a holistic approach to land stewardship.

  • (9) Tourism Planning: FOWTOR analysis is invaluable for tourism planning, as it highlights unique natural attractions and recreational opportunities within each region, promoting sustainable tourism development.

  • (10) Social Infrastructure: FOWTOR regionalism extends to the categorization of settlements, including hamlets, villages, towns, and cities. This classification ensures that social infrastructure and services are appropriately scaled to meet the needs of local communities.

  • (11) Indigenous Infrastructure: Recognizing the original nations and their territories within FOWTOR regions is fundamental to acknowledging and preserving Indigenous heritage and cultural connections.

  • (12) Connection Superstructure: The model considers the development of road networks, railways, ferry routes, and air transportation systems to facilitate connectivity and accessibility within and between FOWTOR regions.

  • (13) River Water Flows into the Sea: Understanding the path of river water as it flows into the sea is crucial for managing water resources and preserving aquatic ecosystems at the maritime border of each FOWTOR region within the Australian Economic Zone.

  • By incorporating these additional elements, the FOWTOR model provides a comprehensive framework for regional planning and development in Australia, encompassing natural, social, Indigenous, and infrastructural aspects while respecting the country's unique geographic features and environmental diversity.

V. Indigenous Engagement - "the Voice"

  • Acknowledge the Indigenous heritage within the Wonthaggi region and the significance of cultural preservation and community empowerment.
  • Describe initiatives aimed at involving Indigenous voices in regional development, respecting cultural traditions, and supporting Indigenous land management practices.

NOTE1: Likely indicators only; for original Aboriginal Australia Map © 1991 & restrictions on its copy & use, see Aboriginal Australia Map

NOTE2: The red line is part of the original Aboriginal Australia Map © 1991. The black line is added by Bloggerme for discussion only. It shows the likely State boundary based on the flow of water only. As "the ridge" (See FOWTOR) naturally impacts on the development of the language, social or nation groups of the Indigenous people of Australia, the proposed border is often identical to the group boundary shown on the Aboriginal Australia Map. This is as was expected. Variations are social/historical & result in a particular language, social or nation group being represented in two adjoining States.

  • Key Responsibilities of The Voice:

  • (1) Advocacy: The Voice articulates the FOWTOR region's needs and priorities to federal policymakers and agencies, advocating for policies that support regional development and sustainability.

  • (2) Resource Allocation: It plays a crucial role in securing federal funding and resources for regional projects and initiatives, ensuring equitable distribution based on the region's unique requirements.

  • (3) Policy Development: The Voice actively participates in the development of federal policies and legislation that impact the region, offering insights and recommendations that reflect the region's interests.

  • (4) Coordination: It facilitates coordination between federal, state, and local governments to ensure seamless implementation of policies and projects within the region.

  • (5) Community Engagement: The Voice engages with the local community to gather input, gather feedback, and involve residents in decision-making processes that affect the region.

  • (6) Monitoring and Evaluation: It monitors the progress of projects and initiatives within the region, assessing their impact on the 13 objectives, and making adjustments as needed.

VI. Water Management (NRM)

  • Discuss resource allocation for water management within the region, focusing on responsible freshwater use, river conservation, and sustainable land practices.
  • Emphasize the vital role of responsible land use and water management in preserving river ecosystems and ensuring water security.

Hotspot 1 - Wonthaggi region (O) topography. Hotspot boundary based on the flow of water FOW (for good reasons). Starts at sea at Portland, goes up to the Grampians, then along the top of ridge TOR up to Mt Kosciuszko, then encompassing Snowy River down to the sea at Marlo. Includes Hamilton, Ararat, Ballarat, Sunbury, Melton, Warrnambool, Colac, Geelong, Melbourne, Wonthaggi, Newborough, Moe, Taraglon, Sale, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, etc.

VII. Biodiversity Conservation

  • Highlight the region's commitment to biodiversity conservation, given its role in protecting unique flora and fauna.
  • Discuss strategies for habitat preservation, wildlife corridors, and the promotion of sustainable practices that support local ecosystems.

VIII. Disaster Resilience

  • Explain how the FOWTOR model helps identify and address disaster risks and vulnerabilities within the Wonthaggi region. Explain how the region addresses disaster risks, including droughts, bushfires, wind, floods, and water quality issues. These include anticipated continuous sea level rise, temperature rise, and increased extreme events including changing weather patterns, some of which it is impossible to forecast because of those changing weather patterns and most of which has causes outside the control of action for risk mitigation.
  • Highlight the region's commitment to building resilience and ensuring the safety of its communities, especially in the context of natural disasters.

IX. Climate Adaptation

  • Discuss the region's exposure to climate change impacts and strategies for adaptation and mitigation.
  • Emphasize the roles of Wonthaggi in environmental stewardship, sustainable development, and climate resilience, particularly in relation to its waterways.

X. Community Well-Being

  • Address the region's focus on community well-being, including access to social services, healthcare, education, and recreational opportunities.
  • Showcase initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of life for residents and fostering a sense of belonging within the community.

XI. Policy Recommendations

  • Summarize key policy recommendations based on the FOWTOR framework and the 13 objectives tailored to Wonthaggi's unique characteristics and super regional membership.
  • Advocate for policies that prioritize regional prosperity, cultural preservation, environmental sustainability, and community well-being within the Snowy River Protection super region.

XII. Conclusion

  • Reinforce the value of a FOWTOR-based approach for Wonthaggi's development, regional sustainability, and environmental stewardship.
  • Express the region's commitment to working collaboratively with governing bodies, Indigenous representatives, and stakeholders to achieve shared objectives.

XIII. Acknowledgment

  • Attribute the preparation of this outline to AI technology as an example of modern tools assisting in regional development and conservation efforts.

XIV. Questions and Discussion

  • Open the floor for questions, comments, and discussions with relevant political bodies, Indigenous representatives, conservation groups, and stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the region's goals.

White paper available

Happy to engage on this issue any time. My phone number XX-XXX-XXX-XXX

Kind regards

Steve Irons MArt (UNSW) BEc (SydneyUni)

BloggerMe Info

Oct 5, 2023, 2:16 PM


BloggerMe Info

Oct 8, 2023, 3:46 PM

to Minister
My Dear Minister Burney,

I just listened to the PrimeMinister Hon. Anthony Albanese on Insiders this morning telling us that he is prepared to let the Opposition Leader win because that is what the majority from the Uluru Statement from the Heart would expect.

I personally think he has got that wrong and that he is putting aside a real opportunity to introduce legislation under the banner "This is what Peter Dutton is calling for, so let's do it, and move on". There is a real likelihood that 94% of the LNP would oppose this legislation immediately and from the bottom of their heart. This would show up the Opposition for what they really are, and we all know Dutton could never support it; he is a Trumpet and he would find any bit of nastiness and nausea to try and put it in the bin.

And, with the numbers as they are, we all know that the Greens and the Independents and a few LNP members and Senators would support the legislation, showing Dutton as the nasty partisan fool that he is. If the PM introduced the legislation, I believe he would get a huge majority of support from both sides of the divide in the electorate, especially non-Nazi voters who fell for the "If you don't know " rubbish, knowing it is rubbish but not having any alternative, and suddenly you would have The Voice offering advice.

A huge step forward. But who am I to offer advice?

A couple of comments in background: I asked an A.I. enthusiast on my team to put up the FOWTOR model to A.I. to help make my approach to you.

This was a very interesting result because A.I. was able to understand within 3 iterations, over less than a couple of seconds each time, what FOWTOR could do for you as Minister for Indigenous Australians and its resulting advice included its impact on the work of Hon. Kristy McBain, Minister for Regional Development, and on the work of Hon. Tanya Plibersek, Australian Minister for the Environment and Water.

The fact that A.I. knew exactly what I am on about and have been promoting since my putting up the FOWTOR model to Hon. Dr. Kevin Rudd AC's "One Thousand Big Thinkers to Canberra" is very telling. The only real interaction I have had is a letter of thanks from Dr. Rudd, several interactions with Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH GCL PC as an independent statesman trying to promote Australian independence on the world stage and real interaction from Hon. Ken Wyatt AM (see his letter

It seems now that you won't be engaging in legislation but I will include the work I have done here in tidying up the FOWTOR model recommendations over the last couple of days, anyway.

I hope that sometime in the future which will likely be dictated by increased racism, increased disaster (drought, bushfires, floods, cyclones, continuing failure to protect the river systems' quality of water, and likelihood of Antarctic collapse leading to huge global sea level rise) it will suddenly make sense, to a cabinet sometime in the future.

Here are links to the outlines for white papers on 31 regions (suggesting a "The Voice" of at least 62 reps) and 5 sub-regions (suggesting an additional 3 reps for the Murray-Darling region). That means 67 reps for The Voice To Parliament.



5 SUB REGIONS (S) for Region R-15:


I hope that this information is useful for a coming disastrous era that noone wants to experience but that many of us are fearful of. I wish you well in your future engagement.

Kind regards
Steve Irons

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