Are they listening?
There has been a positive reaction to Finley’s news coverage by national and regional media in the past fortnight.
The ABC Riverina and Border Mail recently wrote stories highlighting the serious issues faced by the town due to the mismanagement of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
The stories covered a wide range of topics including job losses, businesses closing, farmers struggling, declining school population and less locals signing up to play with sporting teams.
Local butcher Ashley Haynes featured in the ABC story and said he was impressed with the coverage the town received, however he doesn’t believe the message will reach higher places.
‘‘I’m happy with the story but are the politicians listening?
‘‘There are good stories around the area but that doesn’t detract from the fact we’re so reliant on water.
‘‘I’m still concerned about the impact on dairy farms from the Murray Darling Basin Plan and the frustration their voice isn’t been heard by Canberra or Sydney.
‘‘Our farmers want to produce the cleanest product from the best farming practices and we will always support them.
‘‘It’s ludicrous to think the Greens want to source products from other countries,’’ Mr Haynes said.
Finley Chamber of Commerce president Gary Carr described the recent coverage as a ‘‘glass half full, glass half empty scenario’’.
He said the stories accurately described the socio-economic impact in the town, however certain positives aspects could have been included.
‘‘I believe the stories are harsh but I can understand why that’s the case.
‘‘Yes, the lack of water is crippling the area and something needs to be done, especially around the fact there’s no (water) allocation in the area.
‘‘We’ve had the population and school numbers drop but there are still businesses in town looking for employment and others expanding.
‘‘It posted Finley in a bad light, even though I don’t think we’re the only town suffering because of the Basin Plan; Finley is one part of the problem.
‘‘I’m the first to admit we’ve been hard done by missing out on grants and now funding money isn’t coming, so you would say Finley has suffered.
‘‘I’m happy the story went out to a wider audience but if someone was looking to move to Finley it didn’t put us in a good light.’’
Berrigan Shire Mayor Matt Hannan — a Finley local — was also featured in the ABC story.
He said it was vital to get the news out to the nation around the impact of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
‘‘It probably doesn’t put Finley in the best light but it’s an issue people need to understand; and understand what is happen in different communities across the Basin.
‘‘It was exposure about the Basin Plan, and there were great bits about Lachlan Marshall and the Urquhart family.
‘‘I still don’t think the Basin Authority believe the plan has a major impact on communities.
‘‘They want to draw conclusions on withdrawal of governmental services and the millennium drought, but put a basin plan on top and I think it’s a helluva lot to do with the decline in Finley.
‘‘I can’t dictate where the story goes but if a journalist calls me to speak about Finley I will be as positive as I can while also doing my job as mayor across four towns,’’ Cr Hannan said.