News

Seeking to pause plan

By Country News

A Pause the Plan campaign is gaining momentum with a public meeting to gain support to be held in Deniliquin on Thursday.

Led by Murray Regional Strategy Group, West Berriquin Irrigators, and Denimein Landholders Association, the event follows a successful meeting attended by 250 people in Barham last week.

WBI chairman Andrew Crossley said it was time politicians recognised that ‘‘enough is enough’’.

‘‘Communities throughout the Murray-Darling Basin are rallying together and calling for this disastrous plan to be paused,’’ he said.

‘‘It is failing the environment and failing regional communities. We have a ridiculous situation where authorities are trying to stick to pre-determined deadlines which were established before anyone knew the plan would be such a disaster.’’

Mr Crossley said the estimated 300000Ml that had flowed through rivers and forests in recent months had been ‘‘wasted’’ and caused significant environmental damage.

‘‘What does it take for our politicians to realise this is a disaster that must be fixed?’’

Denimein Landholders chair Jon Gatacre said a vast range of farming, business, community and local government organisations had come together in their call for a pause to the basin plan.

He said numerous independent reports had identified problems with the basin plan as a whole and aspects of its implementation, and had found serious and ongoing concerns regarding its impact on the environment and the regional and indigenous communities who lived in and depended on the basin.

‘‘A full review and analysis of the reports should be completed before meeting any artificial ‘deadline’ required by the plan; failure to do so is both wrong and disingenuous,’’ Mr Gatacre said.

He urged people from throughout the region to come together on Thursday night and voice their concerns.

■The meeting will be held at the Deniliquin RSL Club on Thursday, March 7 from 7pm.