Brooks in call to ‘end the ap­a­thy’

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

‘‘It’s in your hands to do some­thing about this.’’

That is the main mes­sage Ba­rooga’s Chris Brooks wanted to get across to those at­tend­ing the wa­ter cri­sis meet­ing in De­niliquin.

Mr Brooks said it was the ap­a­thy in the com­mu­nity that had con­tributed to the NSW Mur­ray Val­ley being con­sis­tently over­looked when it comes to the fair dis­tri­bu­tion of wa­ter within the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin.

While ac­knowl­edg­ing the ap­a­thy is in part a con­se­quence of lo­cal voices being ig­nored for too long, Mr Brooks said yes­ter­day’s meet­ing was the per­fect cat­a­lyst to stand up and be heard again.

Mr Brooks has called the com­mu­nity to ac­tion to speak out against what he be­lieves is a failed wa­ter shar­ing plan.

‘‘This meet­ing came about because of a let­ter I wrote a few weeks ago to the lo­cal pa­pers re­gard­ing our rep­re­sen­ta­tion. We need a united mes­sage go­ing for­ward.

‘‘At the time of writ­ing my let­ter to the SRN (Wed­nes­day, August 8) there were 5.6 mil­lion me­gal­itres of wa­ter in the four Mur­ray stor­ages.

‘‘The al­lo­ca­tion of that was for two mil­lion to run the river, an­other 2.4 mil­lion to Vic­to­ria and 1.2 mil­lion to New South Wales — so we only got one third of one half.

‘‘By law New South Wales and Vic­to­ria have to con­tribute an equal vol­ume to South Aus­tralia, so of our 1200 gi­gal­itres our part at this stage to South Aus­tralia is 350 gi­gal­itres. The re­main­ing 900 goes out to var­i­ous things and at Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion we have zero per cent al­lo­ca­tion.

‘‘If that is a wa­ter shar­ing plan, it’s a dif­fer­ent fam­ily to mine.

‘‘South Aus­tralia does a good job of de­mand­ing an al­lo­ca­tion, and so has Grif­fith, but there is a huge amount of ap­a­thy among grow­ers, which I found when I was a board mem­ber (of Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion).’’

Mr Brooks said mak­ing the zero al­lo­ca­tion more dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend is how the parcels of wa­ter for other states, South Aus­tralia in par­tic­u­lar, is being used.

‘‘At the time of writ­ing the let­ter there was 8600 me­gal­itres a day go­ing through the weir at Yar­ra­wonga and 6500 of that was flow­ing over the South Aus­tralian bor­der where they had 29 bar­rages open with wa­ter go­ing to the sea.

‘‘It’s a dis­gust­ing and dis­grace­ful waste of a re­source when I have crops dy­ing un­der a cen­tre pivot, staff staff ask­ing if they still have a job and I have the bank ask­ing if I’m go­ing to make a pay­ment this month.

‘‘Are we get­ting a mes­sage across? I don’t think so.’’

Mr Brooks said Mon­day’s meet­ing could be the turn­ing point, say­ing it was great to see all the dif­fer­ent ir­ri­ga­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions come to­gether on a sin­gle is­sue.

He said he was par­tic­u­larly en­cour­aged by the sup­port of Fed­eral Mem­ber for Far­rer Sus­san Ley and NSW Mem­ber for Mur­ray Austin Evans in being part of the day and sup­port­ing the push for more pro­duc­tive wa­ter to be re­leased, as well as Vic­to­rian Mem­ber for Shep­par­ton Suzanna Sheed who was in the au­di­ence.

Ba­rooga ir­ri­ga­tor Chris Brooks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.