When will prom­ises for ac­tion come to fruition?

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - News -

There is mount­ing com­mu­nity frus­tra­tion at the po­lit­i­cal and bu­reau­cratic mess that has been made of our wa­ter re­sources.

Last week it led to the an­nounce­ment of se­ri­ous job losses at the De­niliquin Rice Mill, as the im­pact of less wa­ter avail­abil­ity due to the Basin Plan hits home.

In the words of Ed­ward River Mayor Norm Bren­nan: “The two heads of the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Author­ity, Phillip Glyde and Neil An­drew, should be held ac­count­able; they are op­er­at­ing the plan and they are not lis­ten­ing to the com­mu­ni­ties.”

Our com­mu­nity should also be hold­ing two other peo­ple to ac­count: Mem­ber for Far­rer Sus­san Ley and Mem­ber for Mur­ray Austin Evans. Af­ter all, it is their Coali­tion Gov­ern­ments at state and fed­eral level that have over­seen the de­ba­cle which is play­ing out.

Ms Ley is un­able to con­vince her Coali­tion col­league, Wa­ter Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud, that ad­just­ments must be made to the Basin Plan to pro­tect our com­mu­ni­ties. For starters, the re­cov­ery of an ad­di­tional 450 gi­gal­itres and his mantra to de­liver the plan “in full and on time” need to be re­viewed.

We should also not for­get that Mr Lit­tleproud, as a Na­tion­als mem­ber, is sup­pos­edly on the same side as Mr Evans. If this is the pro­tec­tion and sup­port we get from our party friends, we’d sug­gest it is time to look (and vote) else­where.

And then we have the highly paid Mr Glyde and Mr An­drew. Mr Glyde came to De­niliquin nearly two years ago and ac­knowl­edged the MDBA needed to work more closely with our com­mu­nity.

He made a com­mit­ment that his staff would be here reg­u­larly to work through the chal­lenges be­ing faced by Basin Plan im­ple­men­ta­tion. That did not hap­pen and was noth­ing but another in a long line of bro­ken prom­ises.

Mean­while Mr An­drew, like Mr Glyde and his other MDBA col­leagues, flatly re­fuses to ac­knowl­edge the plan has flaws which need to be fixed.

It ap­pears he is happy for forests to be un­nat­u­rally flooded while food and fi­bre pro­duc­tion comes to a halt and lo­cal work­ers worry about where the next mortgage pay­ment is com­ing from.

Per­haps it is be­cause South Aus­tralia is not ad­versely af­fected, with huge vol­umes pour­ing past our doors to his home state, much of it mak­ing its way through the open bar­rages and out to sea. All at the same time as the SA de­sali­na­tion plant sits idle: why pay to run it when we can have all that up­stream dam wa­ter for vir­tu­ally noth­ing?

Last week Mr An­drew told ev­ery­one that ‘‘flex­i­bil­ity and adapt­abil­ity are the strength . . .’’ and spoke about ‘‘help­ing each other find a bet­ter way of do­ing things’’.

But he wasn’t talk­ing about the MDBA. He was re­fer­ring to the farm­ing com­mu­nity.

And he was cor­rect. Our farmers op­er­ate with ‘‘flex­i­bil­ity and adapt­abil­ity” and are al­ways look­ing at “a bet­ter way of do­ing things”. What a shame the MDBA is not pre­pared to walk its own talk.

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