Opinion

NSW irrigators at breaking point

By Country News

By Andrew Hateley,

Finley

Who is running this state?

Is it the politicians who we elect to make the decisions, or are they too frightened to overrule the bureaucracy — that is, those who are supposed to be the paid servants?

The decision by the WaterNSW bureaucrats on Friday, May 1 to deny food producers in the NSW Murray any water allocation is beyond belief.

My personal view is that they should all be sacked and we should start again.

The ongoing zero allocation in NSW Murray is crippling farm businesses and hurting the communities that rely on them.

It is damaging Australia’s food security and limiting production when we need everyone pulling their weight to get our nation moving again.

But most of all, it is a bad and unnecessary decision.

The Deputy Premier John Barilaro and NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey need to step in and let the water bureaucrats know that their stance on NSW Murray allocations is unacceptable.

They only have to listen to their federal Nationals colleague, Senator Perin Davey, who I suspect has more experience in water management than the entire NSW department.

As she stated only three weeks ago, WaterNSW has decided to hold back more water for high priority needs next year than they have reserved in the previous two years.

So, with record April rains and more forecast, they are keeping even more water in reserve instead of helping people and communities in their state.

Barilaro and Pavey need to do the right thing by regional NSW, who they are supposed to be representing, and demand some common-sense.

They must demand an opening allocation for NSW Murray general security irrigators on the next announcement date on Friday, May 15.

Our Nationals representatives and the bureaucrats who control them need to understand that we are conservative, patient people.

But you are very close to pushing us past breaking point.