Angry farmers want real talk in Victoria
There have been more displays of disaffection by irrigators this week, with a big gathering to air grievances about Victoria’s Goulburn-Murray Water (G-MW).
Around 130 farmers of dairy, cereals, livestock, and rice have protested in Tatura, voicing their anger with federal and state water arrangements and demanding better performance from the water corporation.
Speakers directed their anger towards G-MW, the Victorian Government, and the Federal Government, saying farmers were struggling with the price of irrigation water, a corrupt trading system, and speculators driving water prices up, delays in the modernisation program and waste.
Farming advocacy groups are calling on their members to put in submissions for the Senate inquiry into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, which will visit regional towns in November.
Tatura rally co-convenor Robert Danieli from the GV Water Action Group said it was just the start.
“You are only seeing the tip of the iceberg,” Mr Danieli told local reporters.
“Civil disobedience does not mean a riot, but it might mean showing that you are unhappy.”
Federal Member for Murray Sharman Stone said high water costs were bad for farmers.
She said she wanted the business case for stage two of modernisation works to be released, and even a royal commission into G-MW be launched.
She accuses the water body of gross inefficiency, suspect dealings (relating to the unpublished business plan), and a lack of consultation.