Two more cham­pi­ons

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - OUT & ABOUT -

An­drew Bock and Jan Beer care for the fu­ture of their com­mu­ni­ties.

They have grave con­cerns about what poor water man­age­ment is do­ing to the re­gions they love, and are pre­pared to do some­thing about it.

An­drew (pic­tured) and Jan have agreed to be ‘re­gional cham­pi­ons’ and pro­mote a rally be­ing held in Mel­bourne that wants to make politi­cians aware of the dam­age to com­mu­ni­ties due to mis­takes with water pol­icy and man­age­ment.

The rally is be­ing or­gan­ised by the Speak Up Cam­paign and co­in­cides with a meet­ing of Com­mon­wealth and State Water Min­is­ters be­ing held in the Vic­to­rian cap­i­tal next Fri­day, De­cem­ber 14.

Mr Bock said he wants the voice of food and fi­bre pro­duc­ers, as well as other water users, to be heard.

In re­cent times he has at­tended 10 meet­ings in eight towns across all four Basin states and the Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory, to hear the sto­ries of those on the ground.

He’s been able to share this in­for­ma­tion with politi­cians and bu­reau­crats to help them un­der­stand the im­pact of the Mur­rayDar­ling Basin Plan on hard work­ing Aus­tralians.

Whether it’s a Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion hear­ing or a Com­mon­wealth De­part­ment of Water con­sul­ta­tion ses­sion, he is con­stantly lis­ten­ing to peo­ple frustrated with a Basin Plan that is not work­ing, yet they are not see­ing any ef­forts to adopt change.

‘‘The Com­mon­wealth and the South Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ments are not play­ing fair with the wel­fare of our com­mu­ni­ties. To this point they are al­low­ing North­ern Vic­to­ria and South­ern New South Wales to be sac­ri­ficed for po­lit­i­cal gain,’’ he said.

‘‘But we must not stop do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to get our mes­sages across.’’

Mrs Beer has been a long-time ad­vo­cate for changes to the Basin Plan and is en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to join her at the rally.

She wants to en­sure the Com­mon­wealth is left in no doubt about the po­ten­tial im­pacts of re­cov­er­ing an­other 450 gi­gal­itres un­der the Basin Plan, and that it will se­ri­ously af­fect not only food and fi­bre pro­duc­ers, but also the com­mu­ni­ties that rely on them.

Mrs Beer has painstak­ingly re­searched the Basin Plan in its de­vel­op­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion phases, in­clud­ing mod­el­ling – which she knows to be false - un­der­taken by the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Authority.

She doesn’t need a com­puter to tell her what will hap­pen if the MDBA tries to de­liver the huge vol­umes of water to South Aus­tralia that are pro­posed.

“It is im­pos­si­ble to de­liver the water with­out caus­ing ma­jor flood­ing events of longer du­ra­tion than has been pre­vi­ously ex­pe­ri­enced. There will be mas­sive dam­age to pri­vate and pub­lic land,” Mrs Beer said.

“The de­liv­ery would re­quire pre­cise tim­ing as they at­tempt to co­in­cide tributary flows with flows in at least three of the four ma­jor river sys­tems. This will not only cause dam­age, but also cost tax­pay­ers mil­lions, if not bil­lions, of dol­lars.

“It is im­per­a­tive that a cost:ben­e­fit anal­y­sis of the 450 gi­gal­itres is un­der­taken, in­clud­ing the re­lax­ation of con­straints, be­fore the re­cov­ery of any ad­di­tional water,” Mrs Beer said.

If you would like to join them at the rally, con­tact speakup4wa­[email protected] or call Carly on 0407 305 900

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