Opinion

National Party must stop alienating farmers

By Country News

It was extremely disappointing to see our region’s National Party MLC Wes Fang following the lead of his party and colleagues in refusing to support farmers in the Murray and Murrumbidgee.

He spoke in NSW Parliament earlier this month about the water register, which we desperately need so we can have improved transparency around who owns our most precious resource.

Unfortunately, as we saw Mr Fang strutting his stuff, it was obvious that yet again our farmers are being used as pawns in this political game, and yet again we are the ones who suffer.

First, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ Helen Dalton came up with a water register bill which had strong support, but not from the National Party and their Liberal mates. We have to ask: who are they trying to protect?

Then, Melinda Pavey (National Party MP and NSW Water Minister) came up with a watered down (pardon the pun) version, which we all know is not broad enough and will not be effective.

Mrs Dalton says she wants to try and reach a compromise, but the Nationals just keep playing their silly political games, as was on display in parliament by Mr Fang.

I’m not sure what it is going to take for the National Party to realise that there is a good reason why they have lost traditional seats in rural NSW.

Why won’t you listen to the people? We are fed up with your games.

We are fed up with what appears to be protecting mates and corporates, at the expense of small farmers and the communities that rely on them.

There are former National Party members throughout the Murray and Murrumbidgee who have abandoned the party they once supported so strongly, because they feel it has abandoned them.

Wake up! Start supporting proper water management, including an effective water register, so we can get back to doing what we do best, which is growing food and fibre.

Because all you’re achieving with the stupid games you play at the moment is alienating us even further.

Andrew Hateley

Finley, NSW