News

Food supplies ‘under threat’

By Country News

A Barooga farmer is concerned that farming will soon come under threat, blaming ‘‘ill-informed, radical environmentalists’’ and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan for the decline of agriculture.

Carly Marriott said she feared the day would come when children would be eating imported cereal and milk for breakfast.

‘‘Our clean Aussie food supplies are under threat and this should pose massive concern for every parent,’’ she said.

‘‘I don’t think people have a good understanding of the conditions under which many overseas foods are grown.

‘‘We’ve had the odd scare from contaminated imports, but nothing serious enough to cause excessive alarm.

‘‘But we’re leaving ourselves open to serious food safety incidents, such as the one which occurred with baby formula in China. It’s that serious, and we need to wake up to it.’’

Mrs Marriott delivered her message at a recent farmers’ rally in Albury and to radio broadcaster Alan Jones, but fears the message is still not getting through to politicians.

‘‘I grow food so that deserving Australians have a reliable source of sustenance. I work alongside my husband, my parents and my children,’’ she said.

‘‘We know how to manage risk and our irrigation infrastructure and cropping equipment ensures we get the most crop for drop as humanly possible.

‘‘This past year we have had zero water allocation, and you cannot grow food without water.

‘‘At the same time the Murray River, which flows to the south of our property, is being used as a canal to pour water downstream to South Australia in the name of environmental flows.

‘‘In reality, it is keeping the Lower Lakes full for boating and recreation, with huge quantities poured out to sea.

‘‘The water wastage by what I call our water policy megalomaniacs is obscene.

‘‘I recently spoke to (Mr) Jones, and he called it madness on steroids, which is an apt description.’’

Mrs Marriott said farmers throughout the NSW Murray region were ‘‘tired of bad policy’’ with many forced to walk off the land.

She said like many others in her food producing region, she struggled to come to grips with the political games being played around water policy.

‘‘We’re not being heard; we’re going to the polls angry and on our last legs.

‘‘We want politicians to listen before it’s too late. They have to look further than the immediate political threat posed by those who don’t seem to care if our nation’s food supplies are threatened.’’