Murray by-election is critical for water future
This Saturday in NSW there are three state government byelections.
The successful candidate in the seat of Murray will be critical to the future representation of irrigation communities in that electorate and likely more broadly.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is in crisis and the Liberal and National parties federally and in NSW have failed to provide the leadership and support our rural communities in the southern basin desperately need.
Even before the damning Four Corners report alleging water theft in the northern basin, communities along the Murray River were struggling under the weight of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan yet our calls for help and numerous socio-economic impact studies showing the devastating effects so far have largely fallen on deaf ears.
Five inquiries have been launched since the Four Corners allegations were revealed.
A senior NSW water bureaucrat has been referred to the state corruption body.
The MDBA has instigated its own compliance review — an internal review that by definition cannot be independent and has demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of the MDBA’s role.
Irrigation communities cannot endure the loss of any more water from the consumptive pool, nor does the legislation say they have to and yet all major parties say the plan must be rolled out in full.
Unfortunately, governments seem to be pursuing a political outcome rather than a rational one.
They are forging blindly ahead to ensure every last drop is recovered, despite data suggesting there may be more water in the system than previously thought and without considering the results of their own socioeconomic assessments already under way.
In Victoria, the National Party has been largely silent on these issues.
Federally, the National Party has refused to support a judicial inquiry that would help answer these questions despite stakeholder calls for this to occur.
NSW is no better with NSW Nationals Water Minister Niall Blair also failed to release an expert panel’s report into the plan’s Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism, ironically commissioned to ensure transparency.
In the NSW seat of Murray, Nationals candidate Austin Evans says his party is against further water buybacks, yet under his party’s coalition government, this has continued to occur.
Actions speak louder than words and the usual political party players have no policies that indicate a sustainable way forward for our southern irrigation communities.
In this vacuum it is important that the alternative representation on offer is now given a chance to represent our needs, not only in the forthcoming by-elections but in every forthcoming election in all federal and state seats on both sides of the Murray River.
Making these electorates marginal over the next few years will be the most important step we can take as communities to ensure that we are listened to and taken seriously. and local media, implying the whole world might fall down if we dare to make this state seat marginal over the next 17 months.
We had Barnaby going as far as saying that if Murray is won by Helen Dalton, we’re delivering a Labor Government.
That’s complete and utter nonsense. This is a by-election.
If Helen Dalton wins, it will not change the state government to Labor.
If you vote for Helen, you’re voting for Helen and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party. She has not joined the Labor party.
If you want to vote for Labor then vote for Michael Kidd, not Helen Dalton.
Kay Hull says she is disappointed in Helen Dalton.
I’m incredibly disappointed in Kay for saying that.
Kay knows perfectly well that Helen Dalton has always spoken for our region at numerous places and representative tables.
Perhaps the biggest mistake is that the National Party rejected Helen in 2015 and did not let her rejoin?
I soundly warned Michael McCormack and a few other Nationals that it was a huge mistake to do that.
Harassing Helen short weeks ago just a few when they realised Adrian Piccoli was throwing in the towel was too little too late.
Kay is not contesting this seat. She isn’t even in parliament any more. She was a truly excellent advocate for our region, but that was about the person, not the party.
Michael McCormack Barnaby aren’t contesting seat either.
I do have to ask why our federal Nationals are taking over this campaign and all but smothering their state colleagues and even Austin.
What are they so concerned about?
I agree with Daisy Armstrong that we’ve all been given an opportunity to send a message to our state government, and the chance to razzle them up for taking us for granted.
They’ve been far too inclined to rely on our resilience, loyalty and adaptability and trade us off for party political purposes.
That’s the problem Kay Hull. It wasn’t you or the federal Nationals that created the problem, it was your state colleagues.
Helen taking this seat will actually be part of the solution. and this