Water

NSW Parliament hears irrigators’ concerns

By Country News

Southern Riverina farmers had the chance to speak about the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in NSW Parliament on Wednesday.

Rod Roberts from the One Nation party invited Southern Riverina Irrigators chairman Chris Brooks to speak during the lunch break where all NSW MPs were invited.

Chris Brooks discussed the dire effects on farmers’ livelihoods from a lack of water.

“My concern is with the Liberal National party who have left it with the Nationals,” he said.

At one point in the deputation, Mr Brooks was captured on film by the media, falling to his knees, begging for water. The video clip was broadcast nationally.

“A Liberal party member made a sarcastic comment about how it's not going to do any good to beg for water.

“I was making a point for farmers,” he said.

The following day, Mr Brooks met with about 20 politicians at a press conference to discuss water.

In NSW the Murray Irrigation District has 2000 farmers who elected Mr Brooks as chairman.

“We went to Canberra to get water we've paid for that we're sending to South Australia,” he said.

State Member for Murray Helen Dalton said she was disappointed at the lack of parliamentarians who listened to the farmers.

“There's so much water being wasted along the Murray, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee rivers,” she said.

“We are losing jobs and lives due to the disastrous Murray-Daring Basin Plan.

“It was nice to see a few Liberals at the presentation and a Labor MP but not one National MP - the so-called party of regional Australia - bothered to turn up,” Mrs Dalton said.