Lis­ten, Scott, or it’s a French re­volt

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Com­mu­nity groups have banded to­gether in a last ditch ef­fort to get Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son to visit the re­gion, or ac­cept a lo­cal del­e­ga­tion, so he can get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the dev­as­ta­tion be­ing felt by poor Gov­ern­ment wa­ter pol­icy. The Pas­toral Times has been asked to pub­lish, in full, this let­ter which has been sent to the PM. In sheer frus­tra­tion they are threat­en­ing a ‘French-style’ protest if this fi­nal plea is ig­nored.

Dear Prime Min­is­ter,

On be­half of com­mu­ni­ties on their knees across south­ern NSW and north­ern Vic­to­ria we write to you one last time in des­per­a­tion that you meet with a small del­e­ga­tion of our grass­roots lead­ers.

We have at­tempted on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions through dif­fer­ent mech­a­nisms to draw your at­ten­tion to the disas­ter which is un­fold­ing in the hope you would take ac­tion, how­ever our pleas have been ig­nored.

The un­rest brew­ing in our com­mu­ni­ties is real and can no longer be ig­nored. We are an­gry and tired of the mixed mes­sages which our peak bod­ies de­liver to gov­ern­ment and the dis­re­gard for our com­mu­ni­ties in the halls of Can­berra, Syd­ney and Mel­bourne.

Fam­ily farms are about to col­lapse through­out our re­gions and with them will go gen­er­a­tions of knowl­edge, un­der­stand­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence in land and wa­ter man­age­ment. With them will go the se­cu­rity our na­tion en­joys of our clean, green sta­ple foods which are pro­duced across our food bowl.

This is not hap­pen­ing be­cause we are in drought, as some peo­ple want you to be­lieve. It is hap­pen­ing be­cause of poor gov­ern­ment pol­icy and ap­palling man­age­ment of our wa­ter re­sources. But no-one will lis­ten.

Your an­nounce­ment of a new ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem in Gipp­s­land came as a slap in the face to our com­mu­ni­ties who are watch­ing our ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems get torn apart while at the same time so much wa­ter is be­ing forced through rivers in the south­ern basin to the point where it runs over bank and is wasted. There is no en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fit and no pro­duc­tive ben­e­fit, yet our weak bu­reau­cracy doesn’t care and nor, it seems, do our po­lit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives and lead­ers. De­spite our best at­tempts we are un­able to get our lo­cal Mem­bers to ap­pre­ci­ate the grav­ity of this sit­u­a­tion. Prime Min­is­ter, we call on you to ur­gently meet with a small del­e­ga­tion of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from across our foot­print, either in Al­bury, De­niliquin, Shep­par­ton or Can­berra. We re­quire a re­sponse to this re­quest by April 2nd 2019. There is a sig­nif­i­cant push in parts of our com­mu­nity for a French-style protest on our na­tional cap­i­tal in a des­per­ate bid to get our voices heard. Let us avoid this con­fronta­tion.

Our pref­er­ence is to meet with you and dis­cuss so­lu­tions, which are there wait­ing for politi­cians with courage to adopt. Please talk to us and help us solve this dras­tic sit­u­a­tion. Your faith­fully,

Speak Up Cam­paign

Up­per Goul­burn Catch­ment As­so­ci­a­tion

Mid Mur­rumbidgee Land­hold­ers

Grif­fith Busi­ness Cham­ber

Mur­ray River Ac­tion Group

Mur­rumbidgee Val­ley Food and Fi­bre As­so­ci­a­tion

South­ern Rive­rina Ir­ri­ga­tors

Deni­boota Land­hold­ers As­so­ci­a­tion

Mur­rumbidgee Shire Coun­cil

Ed­ward River Coun­cil


Den­imein Land­hold­ers As­so­ci­a­tion

Mur­ray Val­ley Pri­vate Divert­ers

Creek Coun­try Al­liance

West Ber­riquin Ir­ri­ga­tors Inc

CC: Mem­ber for Far­rer Sus­san Ley, Wa­ter Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Michael Mc­Cor­mack, NSW Deputy Pre­mier John Bar­i­laro, Mem­ber for Mur­ray Austin Evans.

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