Rice mill is another ‘ripple effect’
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.