Faces of the Convoy to Canberra

By Rodney Woods

Les Brown — retired dairy farmer from Shepparton

``The drought is hard enough as it is without all this extra pressure.

``There's no sufficient water in Victoria and feed costs are enormous in the drought.

``We had a herd near 300 and fed them 5kg and four bales a day each as a minimum.

``These environmentalists are flooding the Barmah forest and interfering with nature, causing blackwater events and drowning red gum trees.”

James Waugh — Berrigan mixed farm employee

``Our crop production has been well down over the last couple of years.

``Normally we have an irrigation channel to utilise, now we are relying on bores and carting water.

``We need to march as a group to get the message through and we need some swift action.

``Our communities and towns are really starting to struggle and people are at their wits’ end.”

Bart and Hayley Doohan — former Finley dairy farmers

``We can’t sit on our backsides and wait for someone else to fix this mess, we are throwing our support behind the cause,” Bart said.

``We are hoping for a win today but this will be a long haul.”

``People are starting to listen, but nothing is being done and we are still not seeing any action — and that must change now,” Hayley said.

Stuart Hipwell — Numurkah mixed farmer and Speak Up volunteer

``Present-day communities were established here on water, during soldier settlement.

``Profitable towns like Wakool that used to thrive have closed up.

``Land to water separation is killing the environment.

``I don't know if part of the environment they're sending water to is needed, a lot of water is being taken out of the basin.

``Water distribution was balanced, now there's up to a 30 per cent loss.”

Alistair White — retired dairy farmer from Cobram

``The coalition isn't listening to us, the only ones who seem to be doing anything is One Nation.

``The plan needs to be paused to release some water to farmers and make it less expensive.

``Business people own the water and ask for huge sums of money from farmers who can't afford it.

``I feel for all the young farming families because they deserve to have three meals a day.

``How can they farm with no water?”