Speak Up is giv­ing ev­ery­one a say

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

EN­SUR­ING there is a united ap­proach to help­ing the re­gion pre­pare for the fu­ture was the aim of a fo­rum in De­niliquin last week.

A vast range of or­gan­i­sa­tions came to­gether on the day to take part in the dis­cus­sions on how they could work to­gether for re­gional ben­e­fit.

The fo­rum fol­lowed the re­cent Cri­sis Rally, or­gan­ised by the Speak Up Cam­paign.

Speak Up chair Shelley Scoullar said there had been strong grass­roots com­mu­nity sup­port for de­vel­op­ing a more col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to ad­dress­ing is­sues of con­cern, in par­tic­u­lar around wa­ter pol­icy.

‘‘Fol­low­ing our Cri­sis Rally, Speak Up met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion Lim­ited and Ed­ward River Coun­cil to dis­cuss a pos­i­tive path­way for­ward,’’ she said.

‘‘We agreed a fo­rum in­volv­ing var­i­ous stake­hold­ers was the first step to­wards set­ting fu­ture di­rec­tion.’’

The fo­rum in­cluded rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ed­ward River, Ber­ri­gan and Mur­rumbidgee Coun­cils, many ir­ri­ga­tion and farm­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive groups, plus other stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing Yarkuwa In­dige­nous Knowl­edge Cen­tre.

‘‘It was gen­er­ally ac­knowl­edged that a col­lab­o­ra­tive, re­gional ap­proach to ad­dress­ing is­sues af­fect­ing the NSW Mur­ray, es­pe­cially around wa­ter pol­icy, is im­per­a­tive,’’ Mrs Scoullar said.

‘‘Those present agreed to meet again in a fort­night to fur­ther plan an ef­fec­tive path­way for­ward.

‘‘On be­half of Speak Up I would like to thank ev­ery­one who at­tended the fo­rum, and es­pe­cially MIL and Ed­ward River Coun­cil for their roles which made it hap­pen.

‘‘Spe­cial thanks to Michael Rene­han who was an ex­cel­lent chair­man.

‘‘We are look­ing for­ward to on­go­ing pos­i­tive di­a­logue to en­sure our com­mu­nity’s united voice is heard across our re­gions, cap­i­tal cities and im­por­tantly in po­lit­i­cal cir­cles.’’

Shelley Scoullar

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