Public meeting for urgent action in the Riverland- 19 November

 Public meeting on Wednesday 21/11/07 at 7.00pm at Berri Town Hall

A public meeting on the Murray River crisis this Wednesday is all about “talk leading to action -about jolting our national political leaders to understand the enormity of the challenge and the catastrophic consequences  of failing to act” according to Independent Senate Candidate Nick Xenophon.

The visit will be Nick’s third with Murray Irrigators since the election campaign began – and he has been in very frequent contact with them during the campaign.

Both John Howard and Kevin Rudd need to understand that if urgent and immediate action is not taken the entire Riverland community faces an irreversible social and economic catastrophe.”


Nick Xenophon renewed his calls for:


  • a National Water Register to keep tabs on the transfer of water in the Murray Darling Basin, with restrictions on water rights being transferred outside defined regions
  • a moratorium on the massive plantings by Managed Investment Schemes which many irrigators has distorted the water market and pushed the price of water up
  • an immediate independent audit of water availability in the Basin and of the amount of water being used on crops such as rice and cotton, and wasted because of avoidable poor practices
  • a commitment by the major parties to provide the funding for enough water to keep the Riverland’s permanent plantings alive for the current season
  • immediate action to upgrade infrastructure in the entire Basin to ensure best water conservation practices (such as getting rid of open channels, especially in Victoria)
  • assistance to Irrigators to make their properties as water-efficient as possible with measure such as underground drip irrigation and covers for dams to reduce evaporation
  • giving the ACCC extra powers through the Trades Practices Act to determine whether growers are getting the fairest price in the supply chain

Mr. Xenophon said if he is elected to the Senate on Saturday the River Murray crisis would have to be his absolute priority.


“The Riverland is only weeks away from falling into an abyss – the time for action is now. Whoever wins Government this Saturday must understand they can’t ignore or stall on this for a moment longer.”


All members of the Riverland community are invited to attend the public meeting to share their views and concerns.














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