CANBERRA RALLY IS A 'LINE IN THE SAND'
Firstly, I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to everyone who helped organise the Convoy to Canberra rally.
I know a lot of people were involved so don't want to mention them individually, but they should know that there are farmers and community members across the region who are extremely grateful for their efforts.
Some of these people have been working for many years to try and get some common-sense around the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and it would have been easy to give up.
So to these people, our community should be extremely grateful.
We need to recognise the efforts of Chris Brooks, who took over last year as chairman of Southern Riverina Irrigators.
Chris made it clear that he didn't want to continue with the pleasant talks with politicians that had been the modus operandi of his predecessors, and this upset some people.
He is not a 'yes' man and his occasionally aggressive approach does not go down well in all circles.
But surely now it must be 'hat's off' to Chris Brooks, not just for being so instrumental in organising this rally, but for doing so much work behind the scenes in his efforts to get results for our community.
After all, who else has been able to get our issues highlighted on 60 Minutes, apart from all the other media coverage that has forced politicians to take notice of us?
I attended the rally and have kept a close watch on what has transpired during our Convoy To Canberra, as well as the commentary during and after the event.
There is no doubt it has made a huge difference, and hopefully we will now see changes to this horrible Basin Plan that has had such a disastrous impact on our farmers and communities.
We cannot rest on our laurels, because all we have at this point is promises from politicians, and we know how hollow they can be at times.
However, if David Littleproud is good to his word we should have improvements that can give food production in the Southern Basin new hope, and this in turn will provide renewed hope to Australia's food security.
Let's not focus on people who have let us down. Let's focus on the renewed efforts of the water minister, the revitalised Deputy Prime Minister who at last wants to recognise our concerns, and congratulate the Member for Nicholls Damian Drum who, despite roadblocks from within his party and from his 'colleagues' in the Liberal Party continued to try and fight for us.
Congratulations also to One Nation, especially Senator Malcolm Roberts who has made the effort to learn about the Basin Plan and water management so he can advocate for change, and to our Member for Murray Helen Dalton and the Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed who have also been prepared to fight for their constituents.
We need a Basin Plan that gives us the flexibility to look after the environment and help us grow food. So far we've been let down by too many politicians with selfish agendas, more concerned with being elected or re-elected and getting promotions than looking after our wonderful nation.
Chris Brooks told us this week the rally was "a line in the sand". I am hoping this line has been drawn and we can now get on with growing food and making a decent living.
I challenge those who have not offered the support they should to put it behind them, turn the corner, stop the petty blame gaming and work with everyone to build a sound and prosperous future.
Alan Watson, Mathoura
GOT SOMETHING TO SAY?
Let us know, email us at email@example.com, drop a letter to the editor in to our Banna Avenue office, or use the form below...