Farm­ers keen to ask Lit­tleproud ques­tions

Shepparton News - Country News - - LITTLEPROUD VISIT -

Agri­cul­ture was front and cen­tre at a fo­rum in Shep­par­ton last Wed­nes­day, with some farm­ers given their chance to ques­tion Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture and Water Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud.

Those at­tend­ing the fo­rum were asked to write down their ques­tions on en­try, with eight peo­ple al­lowed to ask Mr Lit­tleproud a ques­tion from the floor.

Water con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate, with the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan, the 450 Gl and so­cioe­co­nomic ef­fects raised in the ques­tions, while cli­mate change, the dairy price cri­sis and fruit flies were also dis­cussed.

One ques­tion that was un­able to be asked dur­ing the meet­ing was the fol­low­ing ques­tion from In­ver­gor­don dairy farmer and sheep pro­ducer Des Mor­gan:

‘‘Ir­ri­ga­tion makes a huge dif­fer­ence to food pro­duc­tion in this area, es­pe­cially in a dry year. So the con­sul­ta­tion at the Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 24 meet­ing at the Shep­par­ton RSL with of­fi­cials from Can­berra was im­por­tant.

‘‘Both speak­ers had dif­fi­culty an­swer­ing ques­tions from the floor about so­cio-eco­nomic losses al­ready ev­i­dent due to the large buy-up of water al­ready done by the gov­ern­ment.

‘‘My ques­tion is: can the Na­tional Party through their Fed­eral Water Min­is­ter, de­velop and show us a water plan for food pro­duc­ers in this re­gion — prob­a­bly the big­gest and most ef­fi­cient ir­ri­ga­tion area in Aus­tralia — that will moder­ate the price of water, stop the de­cline in pro­duc­tion, re­verse the mi­gra­tion of water to in­ef­fi­cient re­gions, en­cour­age the en­try of young farm­ers and de­velop a pos­i­tive fu­ture?’’

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