Pol­lies silent on Basin

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Dear Ed­i­tor, Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment are elected by the peo­ple and as such hold that po­si­tion of power to rep­re­sent, serve and be the voice of their elec­torate.

For many years the com­mu­ni­ties of the south­ern con­nected basin have im­plored their elected mem­bers to listen to them and take ac­tion on the im­pacts that the Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin Plan im­ple­men­ta­tion is hav­ing so­cially, eco­nom­i­cally and en­vi­ron­men­tally.

We have al­ways said that when the next drought ar­rives, the cu­mu­la­tive im­pacts of the Basin Plan poli­cies will re­sult in the col­lapse of farms, re­liant busi­nesses and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties and that is ex­actly what is hap­pen­ing right now.

There is a catas­tro­phe un­fold­ing in north­ern Vic­to­ria and south­ern NSW, yet there is a deaf­en­ing si­lence from our po­lit­i­cal leaders, Prime Minister Morrison and Op­po­si­tion Leader Mr Shorten, who never so much as men­tion the Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin or the trag­i­cally flawed Basin Plan, de­spite the fact this is the food bowl of our na­tion, and will have a dra­matic af­fect on our econ­omy as agri­cul­tural busi­nesses con­tinue to col­lapse.

Wa­ter Minister Lit­tleproud has re­fused to as­sist. He re­fused point blank to pause the plan to al­low time to re­view and re­vise it, and the La­bor Party led by Shadow Wa­ter Minister Burke have al­ready in­tro­duced a Bill stat­ing they will re­verse the 1500GL cap on buy­backs, there­fore as­sur­ing the destruc­tion of the Goul­burn Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion Dis­trict.

As the Basin Plan moves from the ac­qui­si­tion of ‘so-called wa­ter sav­ings’ and mod­el­ling stage of pro­posed en­vi­ron­men­tal flows, it is ev­i­dent that the re­al­ity of im­ple­men­ta­tion, it is sim­ply not work­ing and is cre­at­ing mas­sive im­pacts.

The ini­tial pro­pos­als that ‘‘no-one would be worse off’’ and ‘‘no wa­ter en­ti­tle­ments will be eroded’’ have proven to be to­tally in­cor­rect.

Can­di­dates for seats in north­ern Vic­to­ria and south­ern NSW in the up-com­ing fed­eral elec­tion can­not ex­pect to rely on their tra­di­tional grass roots sup­port­ers, un­less they ac­cu­rately re­flect their view that the Basin Plan must be paused, re­viewed and re­vised due to the plan’s se­vere con­se­quences on com­mu­ni­ties.

Yours etc. Jan Beer on behalf of north­ern Vic­to­ria and south­ern NSW Pause the Basin Plan Group

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