Opinion

A call to action

By Geoff Adams

Everyone you speak to has a ‘simple’ solution to the water issues in our area.

Just get rid of carryover, or keep carryover, change the rules on water trading, or make it more transparent, the list goes on and on.

Water is an incredibly divisive issue as there are many different players with many different agendas, and everyone seems to be focused on their own situation, but what that’s doing is killing our communities.

As a lobby group we have identified that carryover is one issue that is having a huge impact on current market prices as well as water availability and the only thing we unanimously agree on is that the current system is not working.

Everyone wants the perfect solution for their situation, but perfection is an illusion, there is always a plus and minus to every equation; and while we bicker among ourselves as to how water should be handled, the government is able to sit back and do nothing for anyone.

As the major player, farmers/irrigators need to present a united front to government if they expect to be taken seriously. Farming is quite a solitary occupation, with hours spent on tractors or out in paddocks, seven days a week, but it’s getting to crunch time now with the future of farming in the GMID hanging in the balance.

If farmers are serious about finding a solution to the mess we are in then we need to come up with a solution that will benefit agriculture first, then individuals, the environment and investors, because that’s what feeds the nation, that’s what keeps communities alive and that’s the only way that the Goulburn Murray area will move forward.

Everyone is busy and time-poor, but only by working together will agriculture flourish once more, so I urge you to firstly inform yourself with knowledge about the issues at stake, discuss them with your neighbours and colleagues to find out what’s really going to work for your area, and then contact one of the water lobby groups so we can build on the ideas and be able to present them to the decision makers.

Or don’t hesitate to contact your local Member of Parliament and tell them you are not happy about the water situation and they must seek a solution.

— Anita Seiter, secretary, NVIC (North Victoria Irrigation Communities) nvicwater@gmail.com