Support grows for crisis rally
August 23, 2018
Support for a crisis rally in Deniliquin on Monday is gaining momentum.
Various organisations have backed the rally amid calls for the region to “turn up in force to send a strong, united message”.
Speak Up Campaign chair Shelley Scoullar said she had been overwhelmed by the interest in the rally.
“My phone has been running hot, I’m struggling to keep up with emails and I get bombarded with questions when I walk down the street.
“But I’m not complaining. I’m delighted that everyone is showing so much interest,” Mrs Scoullar said.
David Farley, who was a popular and inspirational speaker at the recent Meteorology and Motivation evening in Deniliquin, has agreed to return as MC and chairman for the rally.
“We have confirmed speakers from industry and community groups, local government and politicians. We expect to have the program finalised on Friday,” Mrs Scoullar said.
She added there had also been increasing momentum this week for water to be made available in the NSW Murray to help finish winter crops and potentially grow fodder for other drought-stricken farmers.
“We have a great ally in (Member for Farrer) Sussan Ley who spoke in Parliament this week about our situation, and also highlighted our cause in a radio interview with Alan Jones who, like most people, can see how ridiculous the situation is.
“Sussan is fighting hard on our behalf and, with assistance from her staff, is supporting our region and our rally. As is Member for Murray Austin Evans who has confirmed he will attend Monday.
“We have asked Murray Irrigation Ltd to close its office for an hour so all staff can attend, and we have asked Deniliquin Business Chamber to encourage its members to give the rally their full support,” Mrs Scoullar said.
She added it was important to understand that although there is a present crisis, the concern is not only with the present zero allocation in the NSW
Murray, which is at a time when Dartmouth Dam is at 90 per cent and Hume at nearly 50 per cent.
“If nothing changes, what happens next year and the year after? We know it hasn’t rained, but at such a critical time for our region’s farmers, the Basin Plan and water sharing rules have shown a lack of flexibility and adaptiveness.
“That is why we need a strong and united voice to bring about change. It’s not just about this year, but also the future.”
Mrs Scoullar said the support for the rally so far from organisations such as Edward River Council, Ricegrowers Association of Australia and various others was appreciated and she hoped others would come on board.
“The message I am getting loud and clear is that the grassroots of our community want everyone involved to work together so solutions can be found.
“Most importantly, we want people from throughout the Southern Riverina to attend Monday’s rally so our voice can be heard,” she said.
For further information or interviews: Shelley Scoullar phone 0414 960 785 or email [email protected]
Caption – Darcy and Gary Hare have from Tullakool have sent a clear message to those holding up making water available for food and producers. Thanks to Mark Brear from Riverina Crop Care for the taking the photo.