By Chris Brooks,
Southern Riverina Irrigators chairman
Backing away from a fight is not in my nature.
So while I feel I have let irrigators down by putting trust in Mick Keelty to deliver for Southern Riverina Irrigation members, I’m not giving up.
The Keelty report certainly was a kick in the guts for us.
I should have known not to trust either a politician (former Water Minister David Littleproud) or a highly paid bureaucrat like Keelty.
But when they told us in Canberra they would do something to get water for our struggling irrigators, I took them at their word.
I am extremely disappointed with Littleproud, who is now backed into a corner with his claims that we are producing enough food for three times the Australian population of 25 million.
That may have been the case in the past, but it’s not the case right now.
I’m continually amazed at what politicians will say to justify their existence or try to promote their careers.
That’s probably where I slipped up in believing Keelty would deliver something for us — I’m a straight shooter.
I tell the truth and if you don’t like the truth, bad luck.
I’d never make it as a politician.
But we are not going to give up because we are right.
In the NSW Murray — in fact, right across the southern basin — we have been screwed by successive governments who are prepared to sacrifice our food bowl for political gain.
Well, I’m not going to wear it, and I encourage everyone to continue supporting our fight.
We are going to form a bigger, stronger group and we are going to demand governments fix the mess they have created and give us back some of the water which has been unfairly taken away.
Then, and only then, will we stop this crazy fight.
And when this happens we will all be able to go back to what we do best — growing food and fibre for Australians and the rest of the world.
Until governments do something which allows that to happen, we will not rest.