Food used to tell water story

By Geoff Adams

A Deniliquin catering business got the water message across to Federal politicians last week in a novel way.

The family business, Long Table Cafe, run by Kathy and Lawry Smits got the ear of Federal MPs and their staff through food prepared in the Southern Riverina.

Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, invited food businesses to the Federal Parliament building in Canberra to show what was grown and prepared in the region.

Kathy Smits said she wanted to participate so she could take a message to Canberra: "We are running out of water and that means running out of food.”

“I wanted to express the view that if we don't have water the farmers can't grow food.

“The foodbowl will turn into a dust bowl if farmers can't get enough water.”

Mrs Smits said the impact on towns like Deniliquin were already noticeable, as less farm activity impacted on other businesses.

She spoke to numerous people at the event, held in a Parliament House courtyard, including former agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce.

She put it to him, that the region was not just suffering a climate drought, but a "political drought".

The Smits’ business grows a lot of their own food on a 12 hectare property between Deniliquin and Blighty.