Next Tuesday NSW Farmers will partner with local communities, businesses, and other farming organisations to protest the Albanese Government's controversial rewrite of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
The deceptively-titled Restoring Our Rivers Bill - which will actually wreck the rivers - has been rushed into Parliament with a lack of transparency, no proper process and negligible consultation. Rather than visit the farms and communities that would be most impacted, the Government hid in a Canberra hearing room.
Authorities are already soaking riverbanks with too much water, eroding them and killing trees while flooding properties, and the Government's bright idea is to use taxpayer dollars to buy even more water.
Nobody from the Government has come clean on how many farms will cease production, or how many people will go cold and hungry because of these changes. But we know every single megalitre of water can produce 51,000 potatoes, more than 57,000 apples, or a whopping 21,739 serves of rice.
These protests next week will force the Albanese Government to actually listen to the farmers and communities who are facing devastation.
Local mayors across the Basin are joining this protest action because - in their own words - further water buybacks "threaten to destroy community", "will decimate communities that feed the nation" and "entrench already high levels of social disadvantage".
It is clear to everyone outside of Canberra that farmers, towns and communities, and businesses will suffer as a direct result of a ruined Basin Plan. More jobs, schools, shops, doctors, sports teams, and services slashed at the worst possible time for Australia.
The Federal Government has been presented with options to achieve a healthier river without the pain and cost of buybacks, but these are being ignored because they simply want to chase an easy political win.
This is one of the many reasons why the agricultural sector has united with the Keep Farmers Farming campaign. Please join us next week at the protests and go to keepfarmersfarming.org.au to sign the open letter to the Prime Minister.
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