Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

Rob Wet­ten­hall is a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion farmer who bought his prop­erty in the De­niliquin area 13 years ago. The mixed graz­ing and crop­ping farmer has watched it de­cline as water has left the dis­trict and the com­mu­nity is pushed to its lim­its. He can re­mem­ber when more than 120 se­niors filled the De­niliquin ten­nis teams; in 2018 there are just 20. ‘‘I had 2400 sheep but I am down to about 1300 and hop­ing I can ride them out over sum­mer.’’ Mr Wet­ten­hall will cut some crop but that will be kept to feed to his sheep and get them through this year. ‘‘Water drives our busi­nesses and our com­mu­ni­ties. In a good year I can em­ploy seven to eight peo­ple on my place and I am spend­ing money in the com­mu­nity. ‘‘This year I am in sur­vival mode and the next lot of in­come I get will be when I sell my sheep. ‘‘The cur­rent zero al­lo­ca­tion is a dag­ger in the ham­string of ev­ery sin­gle farmer in the com­mu­nity.

‘‘We should be en­cour­ag­ing and sup­port­ing grow­ers and if we did, we wouldn’t have these ter­ri­ble so­cial and eco­nomic im­pacts we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing now.’’

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