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Basin communities cry “Enough is Enough”

Rural News

“Enough is Enough” is the message coming from Murray River communities when it comes to the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

The water management agreement was signed-off in 2012, aiming to bring the Basin to a healthier and sustainable level.

But since then communities in the Southern Basin have struggled to battle drought, and water buy backs.

A rally is being held in the Southern New South Wales town of Tocumwal.

Co-Organiser Darcy Hare told Macquarie’s Rural Reporter Eddie Summerfield, the region has been decimated.

“We’ve seen as much as 76 percent irrigated agriculture job losses,” Mr Darcy said.

The irrigation districts are calling for the Basin Plan to be paused so producers can check stock, and to update the science behind the plan.

“What we saw coming out of the millennium drought, and buy-backs in relation to irrigation areas and dry land areas, the dry land areas when it came into wetter periods actually bounced back, they got the jobs back, they got the families back, they got the area humming,” Mr Darcy said.

“But what we saw after drought because we had buy backs as well, our communities never recovered, we had our productive capacity taken away.”

He says communities not only along the Murray, but across the entire basin are sick of being ignored by politicians.

“We need all basin communities to meaningfully engage, we feel like we haven’t been meaningfully engaged in the past,” Mr Darcy said.

“Governments and federal agencies come out, they tick a box, and go ‘community consulted’ and they move on rolling down with no divergence from the path they were heading on.”

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