Farmers livelihoods are not a political stunt

Why is stopping theft a stunt?

Once again MLA Peter Crisp shows just how clearly he is out of touch. The Royal Commission called by the South Australian Government into damning allegations of water theft is reduced by Crisp, as reported in the Sunraysia Daily November 27, to a mere stunt. 

Why is it a stunt to stop the rorting of our rivers, and to oppose the absurdly costly $500m Broken Hill pipeline that’s designed to disguise the disaster that is the destruction of the Darling River? The South Australian Royal Commission into the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan provides a full-blooded investigation to the problems on the river and is long overdue.

As so many people know, there is a disturbing list of allegations that have emerged over the past six months. These allegations came to light thanks to the hard work of farmers, community members, environment groups and the media, while national and state regulators and most importantly our representatives, Nationals MP Andrew Broad and Crisp have been notably absent. Former Deputy Prime Minister Joyce laughed off “the theft” in Shepparton. He laughed off theft involving millions if not billions of taxpayer dollars. Some joke, especially as he’s the Deputy Prime Minister of this land.

Understanding what is going wrong with how governments and authorities are managing rivers, and why rogue vested interests are being allowed to undermine the health of our rivers, against the needs of community irrigators, and our general wellbeing and success, is essential. It is not a stunt, and what a shame that these are the only words we’ve heard from our National Party member.

What is disappointing is that it has been left to a State Government to convene such an inquiry and it begs the question of Mr Crisp and Mr Broad, why avoid public scrutiny?

Robert Briggs, 

Red Cliffs

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