Letter to the editor: Who is Senator Davey supporting?

By Geoff Adams

Chris Brooks, Barooga

Wouldn’t it be nice if Senator Perin Davey started working harder for her constituents in the southern basin, who continue to suffer from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, rather than advocating for those in the north.

For some reason Senator Davey has become involved in the debate about floodplain harvesting in the northern basin and the NSW Government’s decision to lift an embargo on FPH.

By lifting the embargo water is prevented from flowing down the Barwon-Darling system to Menindee Lakes and more water for South Australia and downstream needs must therefore come from the Murray system, thus penalising those in the Murray who remain on zero allocation.

There are a couple of points here. Firstly, this is a state issue so I wonder why Senator Davey would want to get involved in an issue that can adversely affect her area; secondly, is supporting her National Party colleague, NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey, more important than supporting farmers in her own region?

Ms Pavey may well have acted within the rules by lifting the embargo, but it doesn’t pass the ‘pub test’, especially given the circumstances and her earlier comments about Queenslanders taking water from the system.

I think it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Member for Murray Helen Dalton is the only local politician prepared to genuinely fight for the Murray region.

Senator Davey continues to be unable, or unwilling, to convince her Coalition colleagues that changes are needed to the basin plan, despite her background in water management.

She has been involved in water management, politics and lobbying since the start of the basin plan process when she held an influential position at Murray Irrigation, yet we find ourselves in the current position, being collateral damage for failed water policy.

In the Murray region we are hoping the new Federal Water Minister Keith Pitt remains good to his word to listen to our concerns and try to work with us on a fairer basin plan that protects our region.

Because no-one else from the federal Coalition seems prepared to take the tough stance that is needed.