IN­SIDE TO­DAY

In­for­ma­tive book­let re­leased

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Aus­tralia needs to con­tinue pro­duc­ing clean, green, qual­ity food for do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional con­sump­tion.

Aus­tralian farm­ers are among the most ef­fi­cient in the world, us­ing mod­ern tech­nol­ogy to pro­duce food and fi­bre that is in de­mand in our coun­try, as well as over­seas.

In do­ing so they are mak­ing a huge con­tri­bu­tion to the na­tion’s econ­omy, which is gen­er­ally recog­nised.

But how well known is the need for food and fi­bre pro­duc­ers to have ac­cess to re­li­able, af­ford­able wa­ter?

The Speak Up cam­paign — a com­mu­ni­ty­driven cam­paign in the NSW Mur­ray re­gion — has pro­duced a book­let high­light­ing some of the is­sues around food pro­duc­tion and wa­ter avail­abil­ity.

It is ti­tled ‘Food Grows Where Wa­ter Flows’ and was pub­lished for Speak Up by De­niliquin News­pa­pers Pty Ltd.

Speak Up spokesper­son Shel­ley Scoullar said there has been a lot of pub­lic dis­cus­sion about the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan and the need to pro­vide wa­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment.

But un­for­tu­nately it has de­vel­oped largely into a po­lit­i­cal fight, in­stead of a gen­uine at­tempt to find com­mon-sense so­lu­tions to balanc­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal and pro­duc­tive wa­ter needs.

‘‘We all want en­vi­ron­men­tal flows that pro­tect our river sys­tems for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, how­ever we also need to pro­tect our pro­duc­ers and the re­gional com­mu­ni­ties which rely on them for their ex­is­tence,’’ Mrs Scoullar said.

‘‘In the fight to score po­lit­i­cal points this has been lost. There is enough wa­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment and pro­duc­ers, but we need a more sen­si­ble and bal­anced ap­proach to its dis­tri­bu­tion.

‘‘The book­let ex­plains some of the is­sues around wa­ter, in­clud­ing its en­vi­ron­men­tal value for flora and wildlife on farms, which is of­ten over­looked.

‘‘It pro­vides in­for­ma­tion about var­i­ous agri­cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tions in the NSW Mur­ray, plus some per­sonal sto­ries from peo­ple who live and work in our re­gion.’’

A copy of the book­let is in­serted in to­day’s edi­tion of PAS­TORAL TIMES.

Ad­di­tional copies are avail­able from var­i­ous out­lets, or can be or­dered through the Speak Up cam­paign web­site www.speakup4wa­ter.com.

Mrs Scoullar said she wanted to thank De­niliquin News­pa­pers Pty Ltd for their pro­fes­sional work that has made the book­let a re­al­ity, and the many busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions which pro­vided spon­sor­ship.

West Ber­riquin Ir­ri­ga­tors com­mit­tee mem­ber Rob Wet­ten­hall and West Ber­riquin chair and Speak Up spokesper­son Shel­ley Scoullar with the new ed­u­ca­tional book­let.

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