LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I reside in Tocumwal NSW. I have lived in the district since 1983.
In that period I have seen the Murray so low you could almost walk across it and at other times so high that without the levee bank Tocumwal and Finley would have been completely flooded.
When I came to the area farming was thriving, irrigated cropping rice ,wheat, barley, corn, and irrigated summer pasture to fatten lambs, cattle and a large dairy industry providing fresh milk to the cities.
Finley being the main commercial centre was active with large primary and secondary schools, three clubs and three hotels.
Tocumwal was a small quiet town with excellent golf and bowling clubs attracting bus loads of tourists to our great facilities and climate.
Since then I have seen Tocumwal continue to grow with mainly retirees attracted to the same things: great sporting facilities and climate.
I have seen Finley’s growth stagnate, shops and hotels close, farms amalgamate into larger holdings, bigger machinery, and far more efficient irrigation systems.
Despite these farming improvements and the highly efficient use of water, ample water in the storage dams, in one of the worst droughts for many years there is no irrigation water allocation in NSW.
Living only a few hundred metres from the Murray River this year during one of the driest winters and springs on record I have seen a long and constant high flow of water flowing down the river. Where is the water going? How much water is going to food production?
How much water is going to National Parks?
How much water is going to shallow lakes in South Australia? How much water is flowing out to sea? Who determines what water goes where?
Why is it we appear to have plenty of water flowing down the river from the dams that were built to drought-proof food production and next to none is available to NSW farmers in a drought year?
Maybe we can return to the good old days of the loaves and the fishes with out the loaves.
Yours, Don Young, Tocumwal.