Drum critical of Chesters vote

By Country News

Labor members of parliament who voted down Murray-Darling Basin Plan changes in Federal Parliament were jeopardising Victorian irrigators’ future, Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum said last week.

Mr Drum expressed disappointment in the lack of care and leadership that Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters had shown to her hardworking irrigation communities.

‘‘Ms Chesters is not afraid to interject in parliament during Question Time; in fact she has been kicked out of the chamber on 22 occasions,’’ Mr Drum said.

‘‘I can only imagine how disheartened the people from her electorate are when she says nothing and refuses to stand up to her party after they have potentially destroyed the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

‘‘As elected members of parliament it is our job to represent the interests of our community.

‘‘It is clear that Ms Chesters cares more about the interests of the Labor Party and the South Australian election than the interests of her own community.’’

Mr Drum is calling on Ms Chesters to stand up to the South Australian members of her party, do the right thing and stick to the basin plan that her own party implemented.

‘‘It is a dark time for the irrigation communities across the Murray-Darling Basin,’’ he said.

‘‘These communities should not be beholden to the South Australian Government and the Federal Labor party.

‘‘I am calling on Ms Chesters to do the right thing by her community and back the legislated Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the Northern Basin Review.’’

Last year Ms Chesters met with irrigators and dairy farmers in the Echuca area.

‘‘It is important to develop better communication and relationships at a grassroots level,’’ she said at the time.

‘‘I find it concerning that Canberra is not listening — and they need to get better at that.’’