Kyabram Free Press

Farmers to rally in Tatura

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Kyabram and district farmers and business owners say Goulburn Murray Water is out of control and needs to be held to account.

The Goulburn Valley Water Action Group has called for the authority to be more transparen­t and accountabl­e to its customers ahead of a rally in Tatura next week to press for changes in its organisati­on.

The protest will bring together farmers, community groups, business owners and politician­s.

Group member Robert Danieli said fees, pricing and the connection program were key issues which he blamed for driving irrigators out of business.

“Some farmers don’t know whether they’re going to be connected, or they’re promised certain things and then that promise is withdrawn,’’ he said.

“There’s also an issue of fairness in that selective farms have been modernised, and there’s all these other farmers who are waiting to have their irrigation supply modernised and they have no certainty about their future.”

He said the authority, which is estimated to have nearly 800 employees, must slash overheads, to address excessive debt and the financial sustainabi­lity problems highlighte­d by Victoria’s auditorgen­eral.

Mr Danieli said the incentive for state and federal government­s was to realise that dairy is the number one export out of Victoria.

“For God’s sake, realise the importance of it and do things that will enable it to survive,’’ he said.

The rally next Wednesday, August 26, in front of GMW’s head office in Casey St, Tatura, starts at noon.

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