It is time to deliver the balance that was promised in implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
That was a strong message from the ‘Uniting the Southern Basin’ water forum in Moama on Friday.
The forum was organised by the Speak Up Campaign and brought together a range of community members from throughout northern Victoria, southern New South Wales and South Australia.
Speak Up chair Shelley Scoullar said the forum highlighted the need for balance and honesty during implementation of an obviously flawed Basin Plan.
“The plan hasn’t got the balance right. We believe that’s indisputable. It has been dominated by political expediency, instead of ensuring we effectively balance environmental, social and economic needs.
“This message must be delivered loud and clear to politicians. We’ve had enough and the fight is just starting.
“But to achieve the right balance, which should be everyone’s ultimate goal, we have to work together. Any other approach will not bring the results we want,” Mrs Scoullar said.
In her closing speech a passionate Mrs Scoullar told those assembled they had heard “the Basin Plan was built on deliberate misinformation”. This had led to social and economic impacts, plus impacts to private and public land from attempting to deliver volumes modelled on this misinformation.
“To maximise environmental outcomes we need a focus on quality not quantity.
“Speak Up is about communities and while there are communities suffering across the Basin it is the Southern Basin which has been the collateral damage in a plan that we all know is about politics, not science or balanced outcomes.
“Southern Basin communities have been abandoned by politicians and representatives who bury their heads in the sand or choose to toe the party line instead of seeking the truth. We have been out resourced by ideologies that choose to ignore an objective and evidence based approach, instead using information to mislead the general public.''