Opinion

Malcolm Roberts’ speech provides relief and optimism for NSW farmer

By Country News

By Jon Gatacre, Pretty Pine, NSW

Having just watched Senator Malcolm Roberts’ passionate speech in parliament, I am filled with a number of emotions.

Firstly, there was a sense of relief that someone in parliament is thinking about how to get through this current crisis in both the short term and long term.

I felt a sense of pride that we have someone with the courage to highlight the errors of past policy.

I had optimism, seeing a politician who understands what water reform and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has done to agriculture — the backbone of this country — and is not afraid to publicly state we are no longer producing sufficient quantities of some staple foods.

And I also felt great anger.

I was especially angry that our local representatives in parliament — Environment Minister Sussan Ley and Senator Perin Davey — are not beating the drum for our region.

Unlike Senator Roberts, they are not fighting tooth and nail to get a water allocation to the most efficient food producers in the world, who are right at their doorstep.

Perhaps this reflects a serious flaw with our political system, as it seems their respective leaders — Scott Morrison and Michael McCormack — view fixing the water policy debacle as too politically sensitive and have instructed our local representatives that they must toe the party line.

I believe Ms Ley, Senator Davey and Mr McCormack are selling irrigation communities down the river, without sufficient concern for fellow Australians and food security.

They appear more worried about their careers than the people who voted them in to fight for water.

That’s such a shame, as they should be in a position to make a difference.