Droves of farmers turnout to rally

By Corowa Free Press

Many Riverina farmers descended upon Canberra on Monday for the ‘Can the Plan’ rally, which has provoked David Littleproud to review the plan.

Southern Riverina Irragotors chairman, Chris Brooks told a group of farmers outside Parliament House that the Minister for Water Resources had agreed to seek a review of state-based water sharing arrangements, an agreement that has not changed substantially since the late 1980s.

According to Mr Brooks, a review would be completed by the end of March to provide some certainty for irrigators.

In addition, Mr Littleproud has called on state water ministers to give the Murray-Darling Basin’s interim inspector-general Mick Keelty powers to investigate farmers’ concerns across the basin.

Tim Quilty, Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria, addressed a passionate crowd outside Parliament House in Canberra on Monday in protest at the Murray Darling Basin Plan. 

Mr Quilty has long been a vocal critic of the Plan and was one of six Federal and State politicians invited to speak at the Can the Plan rally. 

“It’s abundantly clear the Murray Darling Basin Plan is destroying farming communities across the Northern Victoria electorate and beyond,” Mr Quilty said. 

“The crowd were passionate and determined, and had travelled great distances to gather in Canberra, all united by one desire: that the Murray Darling Basin Plan is thrown away.

“We want to ensure our farmers, our regional businesses and our communities are not forced to suffer just to keep political and business interests appeased. 

“There is a massive swell of popular support in Northern Victoria and beyond to get rid of this ridiculous piece of bureaucracy and return water to those who have been told they have to suffer while others are literally awash with water.”

Mr Quilty joined the thousands-strong crowd as they marched to the doors of Parliament House and chanted the name of the Water Minister, David Littleproud. 

“The depth of feeling, the anger, was clear,” Mr Quilty said. “Despite their rage, everybody was calm and well behaved, which gave any critics absolutely no room to do anything but listen to their message. 

“This is an issue that will not simply go away by Federal politicians and bureaucrats sticking their heads in the dry sand. 

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Water Minister David Littleproud have to listen.”