Rallying up support
After a long meeting with local water stakeholders David Littleproud was greeted by about 50 people wearing green tops, holding placards and calling for more water.
Organised by water advocacy group Speak Up, the rally saw the Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources speak oneon-one with the passionate crowd.
Among them were Finley business owners Jim and Viv Muirhead, Laurie Fyffe and Paul Bramley.
Signs held by those in green shirts read ‘Water 4 All’, ‘Food bowl or dust bowl?’, ‘Save our communities’ while others showed pictures of dry land, with the slogan ‘Is this our future?’
Mr Littleproud spoke with most of the group for well over 30 minutes including Mr Muirhead.
‘‘I’m glad I had the chance to speak directly with him and get my point across,’’ Mr Muirhead said.
‘‘I said to him, ‘one day we’ll need more dams because of the population growth.’ They said the population would reach 25 million by 2050 and we’re at that number now so what will it be then.
‘‘Governments should build damns now so we don’t have this generation suffering.’’
Speak Up spokesperson Shelley Scoullar said she was proud of the turn out.
‘‘It’s fantastic to come out of the meeting and see all these people here.
‘‘When we call them, they come and that’s what Speak Up is about... bringing people from across our community together.
‘‘And across the whole region, I’m so proud for them to get out here and be united and that’s what the community is about.
‘‘It isn’t a protest, it’s saying we matter, our communities matter. It’s not just about farmers... it’s about the flow on jobs for our communities because our businesses are the first ones hit. ‘‘It’s our future and that’s why they’re here. ‘‘I hope he gets a clear message we’re not going to lie down and take more water recovery.
‘‘I was happy with what we all said into the Regional Strategic Group meeting... we’re all on the same page.
‘‘Our one message to the rest of the people is ‘we’re trying and fighting the leaders who have come together to try and be united’; we’re going to give it our best shot.’’’
Mrs Scoullar said she was happy Mr Littleproud took the time to speak with the people holding signs — many of them farmers.
‘‘Credit where credit is due, he could have walked away and just hopped in his car.
‘‘It was the best chance he had all day to speak directly with the farmers but now we need to turn that into action and have better outcomes,’’ Mrs Scoullar said.
Finley residents attended the Speak Up-organised rally on Thursday (from left) Laurie Fyffe, Paul Bramley, Jim and Viv Muirhead.