Shepparton News - Country News - - MAN’S BEST FRIEND -

Com­mu­nity cham­pi­ons are fight­ing against basin plan Why is our Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment pre­pared to will­ingly sac­ri­fice the liveli­hood and economies of the Goul­burn, Mur­ray and Mur­rumbidgee val­leys — all for South Aus­tralian votes?

What sort of peo­ple do we have in the halls of power who al­low this to hap­pen?

Dur­ing re­cent forums the Mur­rayDar­ling Basin Au­thor­ity has made it clear that it is tied by gov­ern­ment leg­is­la­tion and a demand from the Prime Min­is­ter to de­liver a flawed basin plan ‘‘in full and on time’’.

The MDBA fol­lows meekly along, un­pre­pared to high­light that this is a plan with se­ri­ous un­in­tended con­se­quences which is not pro­tect­ing our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, de­spite this be­ing the prom­ise of politi­cians.

What­ever hap­pened to the guar­an­tee that the basin plan would achieve triple bot­tom line out­comes that equally con­sider so­cial and eco­nomic dam­age along­side the en­vi­ron­ment?

This has been thrown out the door by Prime Min­is­ter Turn­bull, seem­ingly be­cause he is fright­ened of los­ing pre­cious South Aus­tralian and city Green votes if he tries to bring fair­ness and com­mon­sense into the equa­tion.

Mean­while the MDBA, the en­abling mech­a­nism of this ill-con­ceived plan, con­ve­niently turns a blind eye to the dam­age it is creat­ing in our com­mu­ni­ties.

All I can say is thank good­ness we have a cham­pion com­mu­nity, which is full of com­mu­nity cham­pi­ons who are ar­tic­u­late, in­formed and pas­sion­ate.

But we need more. We need ad­di­tional help to fight the basin plan and the politi­cians and con­vince them to de­liver a plan that is fair and bal­anced.

The time has come to say enough is enough. Stop the false­hoods, stop the blame games and do some­thing to sup­port our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

The first step must be sen­si­ble pol­icy that not only pro­vides wa­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment, but also en­sures we have suf­fi­cient af­ford­able wa­ter to grow the food and fi­bre on which our re­gions sur­vive and thrive. — Vicki Meyer De­niliquin

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