Opinion

Politicians play political games

By Country News

I guess I should not be surprised that NSW Senator Perin Davey failed to mention the impact of failed water policy on the production of rice in the NSW Murray region during her recent interview on Sky News.

Senator Davey instead upheld the National Party mantra that Australia can feed 75 million people.

It is unfortunate that the party which is supposed to represent rural Australia is failing to acknowledge problems with water policy, and as a natural progression is refusing to do anything about it.

It’s tough, so let’s ignore it.

Senator Davey has a long history in water policy and has had access to influential people during the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

She knows very well that the NSW Murray has been screwed over by the basin plan and water sharing plans.

Why didn't she use the opportunity to call for stopping the waste of water through mismanagement, maybe even building Loch Zero which would save hundreds of thousands if not millions of megalitres of water?

Or she could use her platform to push for the development of a user pays system for water trading.

That is, the downstream water user provides their own conveyance and transmission loses, (as was set out in the National Water Initiative and embedded in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan).

In the southern connected system, this would make a huge difference.

The Senator could have taken the opportunity to highlight that wheat production has fallen 27 per cent below the 10-year average and rice production for the current season has fallen 93 per cent below the 10-year average.

Our ability to feed 75 million people is based on data up to 2016, not recent years when the official statistics paint a far bleaker picture.

Sadly, it appears Senator Davey has allowed herself to become a cog in the machine of the National Party, doing as she is told by her leader Michael McCormack, who is following the instructions of his leader Scott Morrison.

While they play their political games real people in real communities continue to suffer.

The only National taking a different line appears to be Senator Bridget McKenzie, and no-one should be surprised that this has only occurred since she lost her seat in Cabinet.

— Peter McDonald, Caldwell, NSW