Monday, February 26, 2024

Leeton to protest water buybacks

Leeton Shire Council is urging residents, farmers and businesses from across the Shire to take part in a #NoMoreBuybacks community rally next week to protest proposed amendments to the 2012 Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Mayor, Tony Reneker said the Council, Murrumbidgee Irrigation and commodity groups like citrus, rice and cotton, along with Leeton farmers and food and fibre manufacturers were deeply concerned about poor consultation on the issue and the prospect of further water buybacks.

The Federal Government is proposing amendments to the water Bill to meet environmental targets. It will be voted on by the Senate on 15 November and, if supported, will become law.

“Our Shire, and the MIA, has done more than its share of heavy lifting to return water to the environment and we are not prepared to suffer further impacts – including job losses – when it’s entirely unnecessary,” the Mayor said.

“Buybacks will hurt us all. There are other very good options available to improve the health of our rivers and these need to be fully explored and exhausted before we expose our community to further buybacks.

“To make our voices heard – and so that the government takes us very seriously – we need everyone who cares about Leeton Shire’s future to turn up,” he said.

NFF President, David Jochinke said a series of rallies were being held across the Basin as an important demonstration ahead of a vote on the Bill in the Senate in coming weeks.

“Government has decided to completely rewrite the plan without setting foot in these towns and Shires to consult with people. This is by no means a done deal,” he said.

“We’ve got to come together and send a clear message that we can’t just be sold down the river. This isn’t just about the farmers, it’s about workers, their families and everyone in these communities whose livelihoods depend on this water.”

The Leeton Shire Community Rally will take place from 12pm – 1pm on Tuesday, 21 November, at Mountford Park. For details, visit Leeton Shire Council’s Facebook page or nff.org.au.

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