Call to upgrade Basin irrigation systems

I HAVE a very bad feeling about the upcoming Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

It looks like Tony Burke will get his amendments passed, giving the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) absolute power over water diversion limits and increases in environmental flows.

This marks a very dark day in what has been a most disappointing year for communities and farmers in the basin.

There have been copious amounts of research and feedback provided to the MDBA during the very ordinary consultation process, and very little of it has been paid attention and/or acted upon.

Mr Burke and the Federal Labor and Greens parties had a set agenda before the consultation, and have deviated from it very little.

This has cost tens of millions of dollars and is without doubt one of the most undemocratic processes forced on Australians.

There is no doubt the environment needs increased river flows.

It is my and many others’ argument that these flows, and much more, can be gained by spending on infrastructure.

If we can spend $50 billion-plus, that is $50,000,000,000, on a nationwide broadband network, surely we can afford a far lesser figure on our horribly out-of-date irrigation infrastructure.

What it requires is vision, commitment and commonsense.

We need more politicians in Canberra fighting for the 2.1 million people in the Murray-Darling Basin.

It also seems to me that Tony Abbott is attempting to nobble the brave few who are prepared to speak out, like Barnaby Joyce.

Come on, Aussies, become involved, become vocal and hammer your local MPs over this issue.

For more, visit the Facebook page, Murray Darling Basin Connection, or blog,

Peter Gilmour,


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