probe Jessica Harris Friday, 15 September
bbA COMPANY working to deliver rain to Wimmera
farmers must reveal all details of its processes to
Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Environmental company Aquiess has to supply the
commission with its weather modification program
documentation by Wednesday for an investigation.
The commission's request has forced Aquiess principal
David Miles to put all `weather modification activities'
on standby while he focuses on gathering the
necwdeessary documentation, supporting files and
He unsuccessfully asked the commission to give him
until the end of the month `due to the urgent need for
rain in the Wimmera'.
In a letter to Wimmera and central Victorian farmers
involved in the project, Mr Miles vowed to return to
work as soon as he had submitted relevant documentation.
"I regret that this has happened and wish the present
government was more supportive of new-technology
developments," he said. "Unfortunately this has
jeopardised all weather modification activities on
behalf of all clients this week."
Mr Miles has cited a Department of Primary Industries
media release in late July which described his work as a
`cruel hoax' as fuelling `or perhaps even triggering'
"I hope those involved can appreciate the fact that
they have forced me to focus on self preservation at the
possible risk of a crucial rain event," he said.
Aquiess claims to be able to draw oceanic rains by
breaking down pressure systems that block rain. It has
been working with 29 Wimmera district farmers in the
past few months to try to relieve dry conditions.
Senior department climate-risk researchers have
slammed the company for promoting its rain-boosting
But federal Member for Mallee John Forrest has stood
by Aquiess, accusing the department of being
short-sighted and ignoring the interests of people in
desperate need of rain. He has continued to call for
government support for fully audited trials into