Speak Up

Don’t upset SA

By Shelley Scoullar

“We can’t upset South Australia” is the catch cry at the moment from bureaucratic and political circles.

I’m not sure why we are bowing to SA wishes. Instead, we should look at the reality of the situation: South Australia has a state election in March and the SA Government has mismanaged nearly everything its touched, leaving water as the only thing the government can hang its hat on to win votes. No-one in South Australia is going to argue with a government that says “we’ll get the water and be damned with the consequences for other states”. They don’t care if others get hurt along the way.

South Australia is spending its own taxpayers’ money on a Royal Commission into another state’s water metering and compliance issues, despite the fact South Australia still gets the water even if it is stolen from the Northern Basin. Will anyone voting at the election care that South Australia still gets every drop of their minimum flows from the Murray system if there is no water coming down the Darling?

We now have endless reports and inquiries which continually highlight the flaws and false assumptions used to design and implement the Basin Plan, yet “we can’t upset South Australia”.

It is okay for people living in the inner city to advise our communities on this, they are not the ones living the impacts from these political games. And to them that’s all it is: a political game.

Yet people in communities are getting hurt. Relationships and friendships are broken because everyone in the communities impacted by this plan, which is divisive and destructive, wants the best outcome for their community. So, you have those who listen to bureaucratic advice and don’t want to upset government and their agencies and then you have those who like to base their opinions, arguments and solutions on common sense and facts. Both sides of the camp want the same thing, but want to go about it in different ways. And governments get what they want - communities with mixed messages.

Unfortunately we keep falling for the trap, instead of taking a united approach where those who want to work closely with the bureaucrats can do their thing, in the understanding that a public approach to help sway community opinion will support everyone’s position.

It should not be ‘them and us’, it should be all of us working together for a united goal, but with different approaches. Hopefully, as a community, we will one day recognise that this is the way to get results. And if you don’t believe this, just have a quick look at how the environmental lobby groups work.