A group of Southern Riverina irrigators has called for South Australia to end the ‘‘take, take, take’’ and help create a solution for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Campaign director for the group Speak Up, Shelley Scoullar, said all states needed to work together.
‘‘Rather than the take, take, take that we have seen from the South Australians, they need to start becoming more involved in solutions which care for the environment and protect communities, including their own,’’ she said.
‘‘Start working with eastern states and we can have better outcomes for everyone.’’
Ms Scoullar said the cost of the basin plan should not be borne almost entirely by producers and rural communities.
‘‘The $13billion to implement this basin plan is not its full cost. The greatest cost to the nation is the lost production that is hurting food producers and rural communities,’’ Ms Scoullar said.
‘‘This economic burden is too great for these producers and communities to bear on their own.’’
However, Ms Scoullar said the group welcomed the ‘‘light at the end of the tunnel’’ and hoped changes to the plan would be made.
‘‘We know there is a long way to go before we have a balanced basin plan that protects the environment, but not at huge cost to the social and economic fabric of rural and regional communities,’’ she said.
‘‘But after years of battling, lobbying and sometimes a high level of frustration, we at least have some positive signs.’’