FLAWED PLAN: Ian Moon, Echuca, said the Plan was not going anywhere."It's quite evident, it’s a flawed plan. It's been flawed since day one. It's not going anywhere until they start listening to the irrigators."
SPEAK UP: Speak Up co-founder Vicki Meyer, an irrigation and dryland farmer, Deniliquin, NSW, told the forum people making decisions needed to get them right.
“We cannot afford their mistakes. Enough is enough – enough of our water leaving our communities, enough of our families leaving our communities, enough of the science being ignored.
“We have a voice and the voice says very loudly, no more productive water can leave the Southern Basin."
FLOW RESTRICTIONS: Murray Valley Private Diverters chair John Lolicato said all river systems had limited carrying capacity.
“We have spent five years with the MDBA to try and get them to understand whatever political imperative you might have, the simple fact is the water won’t fit,” Mr Lolicato said.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Federation University palaeoecologist Professor Peter Gell told the forum findings from core samples from the South Australian Coorong, dating back 7000 years, had shown the installation of barrages at the Murray River mouth had turned it from an estuarine system to a turbid environment, with increased salinity. “The barrages drove a permanent change, to an artificially fresh water lagoon,” Prof Gell said.
BALANCE WRONG: John Sinclar, Molesworth, has a property on the Goulburn River hill country. “We need to rationalise how much water can be put down the water courses and get a balance between what is necessary for the environment and maintaining the viability of these irrigation areas.”
COMMON SENSE: Doug Fehring, Leitchville, organic dairy farmer, said primary producers were being held to ransom. "I hope common sense prevails. We are becoming disaffected with the attitude of politicians. They seem to go on their own merry way."
MORE ACTION: Joy Rinaldi, Bunnaloo, NSW, said she was not in favour of any more water being taken in the government buy back scheme.
"My husband and I do care about the environment as do most farmers, if we did not care then our farms would not remain productive. However enough water has been taken and our communities are suffering because of it. We can not just sit by and watch the politicians and city folk take more of our water."
KEEP LOBBYING: Neville Goulding, Cohuna dairyfarmer, said the Plan had a huge impact. "We need to keep lobbying. You look at the 450 jobs lost just in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) alone."
WATER WOES: Russell Crichton, Cohuna, said he used to be a dairy farmer but could no longer afford it. “The water situation just doesn’t allow for any continuity.
"The (South Australian) barrage has to come down, sooner rather than later."
MIXED FARMER: Louise Holmfield, Bunnaloo, NSW, said there wasn't enough reliable water and competition meant prices had gone up. "We didn’t grow rice this year and this means we’re not creating jobs."