Look af­ter busi­nesses and each other: Rut­ter

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - News -

The pain of the De­niliquin Rice Mill’s fu­ture op­er­a­tion re­duc­tions and job losses is be­ing felt keenly by De­niliquin Busi­ness Cham­ber pres­i­dent Paula Rut­ter, both on a pro­fes­sional and per­sonal level.

As well as try­ing to get a grasp on the im­pact it will have on the busi­ness and wider district com­mu­nity, Mrs Rut­ter said there’s a lot of un­cer­tainty around her hus­band Dar­ren Rut­ter’s po­si­tion with SunRice at the Deni mill.

Mrs Rut­ter said mak­ing SunRice’s de­ci­sion harder to stom­ach is that it all could have been avoided through a greater em­pha­sis on the so­cio-eco­nomic im­pacts of wa­ter pol­icy.

‘‘When are gov­ern­ments go­ing to wake up and re­alise we are in a man-made drought? It is a drought that should not be,’’ she said.

‘‘This is a di­rect im­pact of no wa­ter al­lo­ca­tions, and not be­cause there is a lack of wa­ter in the dams.

‘‘The dams are so full of wa­ter, which is not be­ing re­leased to farmers.

‘‘At least the last drought was gen­uine — there was no wa­ter.

‘‘Our town did sur­vive it (the mill clos­ing) once be­fore, but we went through one of the worst 10 year pe­ri­ods — three years of them in par­tic­u­lar.

‘‘Some peo­ple walked off their farms, some peo­ple did not sur­vive (fi­nan­cially).

‘‘There were se­ri­ous men­tal health is­sues that stemmed from the last drought, and we don’t want to see that again.

‘‘Busi­nesses closed and we don’t want to see that again, be­cause many of them did not come back. That af­fects out schools, our hos­pi­tal and our econ­omy.’’

Mrs Rut­ter said the most im­por­tant mes­sages for the com­mu­nity now is to look af­ter each other, and sup­port each other.

‘‘Now, more than ever, it’s so im­por­tant to shop in town and sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses. They are the busi­nesses that sup­port your kid at school and lo­cal sport­ing groups,’’ she said.

‘‘Cut down on the on­line shop­ping and, as I have al­ways said, make De­niliquin your first choice.’’

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