Big­ger meet­ing than Grif­fith

Southern Riverina news - - Local Real Estate -

Murray Group of Con­cerned Com­mu­ni­ties chair­man Bruce Simp­son does not be­lieve the draft basin plan is as ‘‘ex­plicit’’ about in­fra­struc­ture as Craig Knowles says.

Both men spoke at Fri­day’s basin plan con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing in De­niliquin.

Mr Knowles, chair­man of the Murray Dar­ling Basin Au­thor­ity, re­peat­edly stated at that the plan has a ‘‘bias to­wards in­fra­struc­ture’’, as op­posed to buy­backs.

‘‘I wouldn’t be as con­fi­dent as Craig Knowles,’’ Mr Simp­son said.

How­ever, he was pleased with the num­ber of peo­ple that at­tended the event.

‘‘On a per capita ba­sis there were more peo­ple at the De­niliquin meet­ing than at the Grif­fith meet­ing,’’ he said.

Mr Simp­son said 10 per cent of the re­gion’s pop­u­la­tion of 30,000 were at the race­course.

‘‘If that doesn’t send a mes­sage, what will?’’ he asked.

‘‘If you had 10 per cent of Mel­bourne’s pop­u­la­tion at a rally, that would fill the MCG four times. It would roll the govern­ment and kill the is­sue.’’

He said it was ‘‘ex­cel­lent’’ the com­mu­nity ral­lied to­gether.

‘‘The qual­ity of the be­hav­iour, the qual­ity of the pre­sen­ta­tions, the numbers, all added up to pro­vide a real im­pact on the min­is­ter and on Craig Knowles.

‘‘The chal­lenge now is to main­tain that pres­sure.’’

Through­out the meet­ing Mr Knowles and Mr Burke were re­peat­edly chal­lenged about the con­straints of de­liv­er­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal water with­out caus­ing floods.

‘‘I think they’re recog­nis­ing it (peo­ple’s flood­ing con­cerns) in their di­a­logue but I’m not sure that they un­der­stand the im­prac­ti­cal­i­ties of it yet,’’ Mr Simp­son said.

‘‘I be­lieve they’re tak­ing it on board.

‘‘How that ul­ti­mately plays out is an­other thing.’’

‘‘We’ve to ac­knowl­edge again, they’re start­ing to talk the way we want them to talk.’’

Mr Simp­son said the next step would be to ‘‘en­joy Christ­mas’’.

‘‘Se­condly, we’re or­gan­is­ing meet­ings dur­ing Jan­uary with a num­ber of the govern­ment min­is­ters’ of­fi­cers,’’ he said.

‘‘We will con­tinue to pur­sue hav­ing a meet­ing with Burke’s of­fice.

‘‘We are propos­ing to write to both Burke and Knowles, ask­ing them both to re­spond with how they in­ter­preted the meet­ing.’’


Kel Bax­ter ad­dresses Tony Burke and Craig Knowles.

Murray Ir­ri­ga­tion Ltd gen­eral man­ager An­thony Couroupis with Marie Far­rell.

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