Rice mill is an­other ‘rip­ple ef­fect’

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

Dear edi­tor, Ev­ery time water leaves our re­gions there are con­se­quences for our com­mu­ni­ties, small busi­nesses and fam­ily farm­ers. It cre­ates a ‘flow on’ or a ‘rip­ple ef­fect’.

SunRice has an­nounced 100 job losses be­tween Lee­ton and De­niliquin. This equates to an­other blow for ir­ri­ga­tion com­mu­ni­ties as the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan keeps march­ing blindly to­wards ir­repara­bly dam­ag­ing our lo­cal value add in­dus­tries like rice and dairy.

At a time when we are in drought, so should our nat­u­ral ephemeral en­vi­ron­ment ex­pe­ri­ence dry­ing down.

But “the pow­ers that be” (state and fed­eral) are in­stead run­ning stored water at bankers on the Mur­ray and Mur­rumbidgee Rivers off to SA and out to sea.

Those un­nat­u­ral flows are drown­ing native trees and grasses, caus­ing bank ero­sion, stir­ring up salts and sed­i­ments and as­sist­ing the pro­lif­er­a­tion of carp.

The pro­posed re­moval of a fur­ther 450,000 me­gal­itres of ‘ up water’ is now be­ing con­tested as the fed­eral and state gov­ern­ments sit back, seem­ingly com­fort­able in the be­trayal of their ‘‘heart­land”.

This water, once re­moved, will cause fur­ther water price rises, pric­ing it out of lo­cal pro­duc­tion.

Has our mem­ber Austin Evans strongly ad­vo­cated for us? He has ‘talked’ but there is no in­di­ca­tion of ‘walk’ and no ex­pla­na­tion of a path­way to walk.

Is Sus­san Ley vo­cal about this is­sue? Only some­times, as she was ap­par­ently more con­cerned about clos­ing down the live sheep trade.

At around elec­tion time in 2019 the Coali­tion will wheel out Tim Fis­cher and John Howard from their com­fort­able homes to re­mind their core sup­port­ers of an era when they were once pop­u­lar and rep­re­sented us.

How­ever, we need to re­mem­ber that John Howard was re­spon­si­ble for the 2007 Water Act.

The Coun­try Party we all once sup­ported seems to have mor­phed into a divi­sion of the city-cen­tric Lib­eral Party where the ex­treme greens are pan­dered to and hence in­flu­ence poli­cies.

They are now more con­cerned with im­prac­ti­cal and di­vi­sive mi­nor­ity views in­stead of im­ple­ment­ing vi­sion­ary pol­icy.

The en­tire South­ern Con­nected Sys­tem has al­ready suf­fered much pain and again we are ex­pected to en­dure more.

When was it ever a good idea to cause hard­ship and pain, es­pe­cially around Christ­mas time?

Our vi­brant and pro­duc­tive NSW and Vic­to­rian re­gional com­mu­ni­ties through­out the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin do not de­serve to be po­lit­i­cally sold down the river and lit­er­ally hung out to dry.

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