United in protest

Benalla Ensign - - Community Voice -

The jus­tice for the Bro­ken Val­ley Group (JBV), lo­cal farm­ers and ir­ri­ga­tors and sup­port­ers were united yes­ter­day, as they held a block­ade at the front of the Depart­ment of Sus­tain­abil­ity and En­vi­ron­ment (DSE) of­fices in Be­nalla, protest­ing against the de­com­mis­sion­ing Lake Mokoan.

A crowd of about 60 peo­ple turned out in sup­port of the block­ade as protesters de­manded ‘‘re­li­a­bil­ity for wa­ter users’’ and to ‘‘save Lake Mokoan’’, as they pick­eted out­side the Syd­ney Rd of­fice.

‘‘We want our voice heard in Melbourne,’’ JBV’s Michael Reid said as he en­cour­aged protesters to stand across the drive­way at the en­trance of DSE.

‘‘Don’t let DSE come and of go to­day. The loss of pro­duc­tion from the DSE to­day will be sig­nif­i­cant . . . but the loss of pro­duc­tion from Bro­ken Val­ley is sig­nif­i­cant.’’

So what was the ob­jec­tive of the DSE block­ade?

‘‘To show how dis­gusted we are with the DSE and how lit­tle re­spect we have for them and the way they have cheated the facts and fig­ures and the ad­vice they’ve given the min­is­ter,’’ Mr Reid said.

Mr Reid said he was happy with the turnout at yes­ter­day’s block­ade.

‘‘It’s pretty good. Peo­ple are very busy , this is good. It’s a small com­mu­nity — prob­a­bly 170 ir­ri­ga­tors are di­rectly af­fected.’’

As a re­sult of yes­ter­day’s demon­stra­tion, the JBV hope the min­is­ter will re­ex­am­ine the facts and re­con­sider his de­ci­sion.

The group also says they haven’t ruled out more protest ac­tion in the fu­ture.

‘‘We’ll stick spurs in over this,’’ Mr Reid said.

Also in the News on Fe­bru­ary 6 1993:

Be­nalla’s Bill Woon­ton was recog­nised on Aus­tralia Day for out­stand­ing pub-

●lic ser­vice.

It was re­ported that Vic­to­ria’s rail track main­te­nance had been ne­glected by Premier Brumby. A mi­nor leak at Be­nalla’s Safe­way Petrol Sta-

●●tion caused dis­rup­tion.

The 17th Sey­mour Al­ter­na­tive Farm­ing Expo took place. It was re­ported that cars of the fu­ture would be able to park them­selves.

●●

De­ter­mined: Sup­port­ers protest at block­ade at DSE of­fices in Syd­ney Rd.

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