United in protest
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-
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.