Saturday, May 25, 2024

Edward River slams Basin Bill as a failure for farmers

Edward River Council claims the pleas of Murray Darling Basin communities have fallen on
deaf ears as the Senate passed the Water Amendment (Restoring our Rivers) Bill this week.

“The Albanese Government and some crossbench senators voted to support the Bill, placing Basin communities at risk of both job losses and decreased food and fibre production,” said Edward River Mayor, Peta Betts.

The Bill now will go back to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass.

Mayor Betts said Edward River Council and neighbouring basin communities had made a collective call for the safeguarding of the region’s water supply and economic sustainability over recent months, in a bid to have their concerns heard and acknowledged by the Government.

“The government is simply turning a blind eye to the vast and ongoing problem they are creating for rural economies – in the last fortnight, thousands of people have taken to the streets, here in Deniliquin and in Leeton and Griffith, to rally against government proposed buybacks.”

“Politicians in the city continue to ignore those in the bush – we, who are most affected by the legislation and have felt the sting of water buybacks before.”

She said local communities, businesses, manufacturers and farmers were “furious at the lack of consultation and that mistakes of the past are being repeated”.

Councillor Linda Fawns, who is also a local farmer, said, “We need sensible, smart solutions for the river system that are developed through fair and proper consultation with all stakeholders.”

“We live and work in one of the nation’s integral food bowls – out-of-touch politicians in Canberra passing this legislation will have major impacts on the price of living for all
Australians,” she said.

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