Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has posted this to her Facebook account this morning...
“I'm writing from Goondiwindi, a town that sits along the Macintyre River, at the top of the Murray Darling Basin, right on the border of NSW and Queensland. The stomping ground of David Littleproud, the Federal Water Minister. This is cotton country.
“The practice of overland harvesting is rife; keeping water that should be flowing into rivers on farm. Corporate irrigators and their advocates often cite their low "take" from the river while they harvest this water free of charge, billing the taxpayer for the infrastructure works (otherwise known as dam walls, below ground channels, raising roads) that capture and store the water for their own private and corporate use.
“While some farmers in the basin have zero water allocated from the river, that doesn’t stop them harvesting overland water. Meanwhile, corporate cotton crops in southern Queensland are flourishing.”
So far The Argus and people we have spoken with were unaware of the Senator’s visit but we have made contact and are waiting for a response.
Meanwhile, Hanson-Young took a swipe at Littleproud earlier in the week with this press release...
“The Liberal National Government must stand up to greedy corporate irrigators and the cotton industry by stopping them from taking more than their fair share, and support a Royal Commission, the Greens say.
“Fish are dying because there is not enough water in the River. Until the Water Minister David Littleproud lifts the freeze on water buy backs to restore environmental flows, the Liberal National Government is culpable of hanging the Murray Darling out to dry. We know it is the most economically efficient and environmentally effective way to restore life to the ailing River system.
“This late-in-the-piece announcement from the Water Minister just confirms this government is content to sit on its hands, because scientists have already told us what the problem is. What we need is a comprehensive probe into the greed and corruption that have left the Basin in collapse. Until that happens the rivers are destined to suffer.
“It will be my first order of business to establish a Royal Commission when parliament resumes next month. It is time political parties came together to support communities crying out for a Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin.”
The Argus will be contacting locals for their feedback on the Senator’s opinions for an article.
If you would like to tell us your thoughts please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a comment on the Argus’ Facebook page.