LETTER: Nationals out to serve big irrigators upstream

Steve Whan, CEO National Irrigators Council (NIC), reveals his political alignment and vested interests at a crucial time (“Labor policy could hit irrigators unfairly”).

By attacking Labor’s policy, he shows us just how deeply into National Party pockets vested interests have ingratiated themselves.

It is a well-known fact that the main NSW “supply project” of decommissioning Menindee Lakes will serve only upstream corporate irrigators and foreign speculative traders and investors, while not increasing the amount of available water by one drop.

The furphy of rubbery figures in water accounting and modelling has been blown wide open and we will no longer accept claims that the “evaporation” rates supposedly reduced by the Menindee Sustainable Diversion Adjustment Mechanism equate to 106GL of actual water.

This creative accounting will merely justify the outrageous amount of extraction upstream, still widely unmetered or even accounted correctly in the first place, which has left our Darling River bereft of water and the entire riverine ecosystem severely stressed.

Why does the National Irrigators’ Council not advocate for the farmers along the lower Darling, who are being forced off their properties, or to make long term changes to their practices because of the lack of water (once the most secure in the basin)?

It is beyond conceit to berate those who question the NIC addiction to graft to increase their profits and those of the greedy water guzzlers they unashamedly promote ahead of farmers and traditional custodians who have worked and tended their land for generations, while once again pitting the environment against profit.

Crawl back under your gilded lily until the election is over Mr Whan and have a think about just who you are selling out.

Jane MacAllister, 

Gol Gol

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