The Keep Farmers Farming message has landed at the Canberra Airport with billboards, plus digital advertising, sending a clear message to Federal Parliament to reject water buybacks, ahead of the Bill to rewrite the Murray Darling Basin Plan being introduced to the Senate this week.
NSW sheep and grain farmer Michael Chalmers, pictured on the billboards, is deeply concerned about the government’s proposal to allow water buybacks from farmers in the Murray Darling Basin.
“Further water buybacks would potentially have devastating effects on our farm business and our local community,” he said.
“If I were having a conversation with a politician in Canberra I would ask the question, ‘why are you so fixated on recovering this extra water when it won’t necessarily deliver a tangible benefit to the environment, but it will almost certainly decimate irrigated communities in the Murray Darling Basin?’”
National Farmers’ Federation Chief Executive Tony Mahar called on Parliamentarians to support farmers, rural communities and the river by saying no to the Bill and no to water buybacks.
“The Basin produces 40 per cent of Australia’s food and fibre and buybacks will take some of this away,” Mr Mahar said.
“Together, we have achieved staggering improvements to the river system’s health, with additional water flowing through the system enough to fill Sydney Harbour almost five times over each year.
“This Bill terminates bipartisan support for the Plan and flies in the face the communities and environmental experts who back the Plan.
“Farmers are here for environmental wins – a healthy river system is a healthy food bowl. Buybacks are not the pathway to improving the health of a river system.
“Let’s pursue smart options like eradicating carp, creating fishways and addressing bank erosion, not destructive buybacks that will reduce farm production and drive up food prices.”
The Keep Farmers Farming initiative is asking urging Parliamentarians to prevent passage of the Water (Restoring our Rivers) Bill and retain existing limits on water buybacks.
For more information including Michael’s case study visit keepfarmersfarming.org.au
Media assets click here.