Sheed slams basin statement

By Country News

State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed has criticised the recent communique released by the Basin Community Committee.

The communique released in June failed to identify the massive issues in our basin communities, according to Ms Sheed.

‘‘The relevance and independence of the BCC must be questioned,’’ she said.

‘‘Do they really represent their communities or are they simply a mouthpiece for the MDBA (Murray-Darling Basin Authority) and DAWR (Department of Agriculture and Water Resources)?

‘‘This last communique contains statements that simply do not resonate at all with northern Victorian and NSW Murray and Lower Darling communities.’’

In its communique, the BCC said there was a need for all basin governments to work together to restore trust in the basin plan.

‘‘It is hard to see how this could possibly happen,’’ Ms Sheed said.

‘‘Trust in the plan cannot be restored without transparently addressing widespread community perceptions of fundamental flaws in the propositions and assumptions that underpinned the development of the reform.’’

Ms Sheed said for the committee to suggest that further engagement and consultation within basin communities was needed showed a very significant disconnect with those communities.

‘‘Asking this of communities, when they have such a long history of not having their feedback and concerns acted on, will be a dishearteningly empty exercise and will not build trust,’’ she said.