Recent reactions against communities trying to highlight poor government policy have emphasised a trend that should be of concern to all Australians, according to Speak Up chair Shelley Scoullar.
Ms Scoullar said she was angry the Murray-Darling Basin Authority had the audacity to complain about a recent 60 Minutes television program, which outlined the impact of poor water management on hard-working farmers and struggling communities.
“It appears the MDBA does not believe people have a right to know about the inequities in water management and the damage being done to our communities,” she said.
“It is disappointing that the MDBA cries foul when there is adverse publicity, but refuses to effectively engage with affected communities.
“The MDBA doesn’t want to consult and it doesn’t want to be questioned.
“But from our perspective it is overseeing a disastrous plan that is seriously hurting our communities.
“We cannot understand why this cannot be acknowledged.”
Mrs Scoullar said the purpose of the Water Rats segment on 60 Minutes was to highlight the problems of the current water sharing rules and river operations.
“The MDBA is working with inflexible rules that do not suit the current environment,” she said.
“When we have multiple agencies involved in water management, who is looking at the big picture and the impacts on various regions or communities?
“The answer, of course, is ‘no-one’.”