Senator wants people to listen

By Country News

The more people that travel to the southern Riverina and hear about the region’s struggles, the better, according to NSW Senator Perin Davey.

Deniliquin recently played host to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who met with locals and the Southern Riverina Irrigators to hear about the effects of zero allocation and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan on the region.

‘‘I think the more people from parliament we can get to our region to show them how productive we are and how much potential we have, the better,’’ Senator Davey said.

‘‘SRI has expressed concerns about the environmental damage caused to the riverbank and channel capacity through the narrow Barmah Choke, which is the only pathway for flows to get to South Australia when the Darling River is disconnected, as it is now.

‘‘I would be happy to sit down with Senator Hanson-Young to look at the inter-state water sharing arrangements to see if they should be revised to include arrangements for relaxing the fixed volumes for South Australia in these extreme dry circumstances to protect our riparian environments along the river.’’

Senator Davey said farmers in the NSW Murray were frustrated.

‘‘Here we are, yet again, in a severe drought and our farmers are doing their best to remain productive while they have a second year of zero water allocation and inflated prices for water on the market,’’ she said.

‘‘I will work with anyone, from any party, to try to find ways we can minimise the negative social and economic effects of the basin plan while we maximise outcomes for the environment.’’