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Outraged farmer’s tongue-in-cheek plan to deprive Canberra of drinking water

A retired third generation irrigation farmer wants to deprive Canberra of its drinking water, in a bid to get politicians to change the government’s approach to the managing the Murray-Darling Basin.

Ron Pike said the plan to restore environmental balance in the bottom end of the Murray River, after excessive water use for irrigation left lakes at the southern end of the river almost empty, has swung too far the other way.

Upstream towns and farmers have had the amount of river water available for their use severely restricted, and coupled with the drought, this has led to serious water shortages.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that Canberra is implementing water policy that is leaving whole regions of western NSW, northern Victoria and southern Queensland with no water,” Mr Pike told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“We have towns that have no drinking water.”

Mr Pike said the plan has upset the balance of the water system.

“Since we built the dam, starting back in the 1920s and 30s, we have kept all of our rivers running through droughts, we’ve grown world class irrigated cropping communities, we have developed regional communities that are wonderful places to live,” he said.

“This plan has destroyed all of that.

“Every one of these communities will be dead before Christmas unless this plan is overturned, and overturned literally tomorrow.”

Mr Pike called for Lake Burley Griffin and the Corin Dam to be drained, depriving politicians in Canberra of water.

“When they will not see the light then make them feel the heat,” he said.

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