Speak Up tomorrow

April 06, 2018

The Speak Up Campaign’s membership drive will take to Cressy St, Deniliquin tomorrow morning.

Campaign supporters will man the Cressy St kiosk, providing information about its advocacy on behalf of the local community.

It will also have membership forms which people will be invited to complete.

Speak Up Campaign chair Shelley Scoullar said the organisation had been a significant public voice for our community over the past two years.

“We have advocated strongly, in particular relating to water policy, for a fairer deal that supports rural and regional communities such as ours.

“Speak Up echoes a widely held view that we have been let down by politicians who promised a Murray-Darling Basin Plan that would deliver a balance between the social, economic and environmental imperatives under the plan.

“As recent reports have indicated, this is a broken promise. Water to grow food and fibre continues to leave the Murray region, from where the bulk of water has been recovered. This is water which is used to grow food and fibre, create employment and add to the nation’s economy.

“Now, we have the threat of an additional 450 gigalitres being removed from productive use after a promise written in legislation that this would not occur if there were adverse socio-economic impacts.

“On top of this, in the process of delivering the volumes under the Basin Plan private and public property will be exposed to inundation, also causing economic loss.

“Speak Up will continue to highlight broken promises and Basin Plan inadequacies until we get politicians who will listen to common-sense solutions. Enough is enough. No longer can our communities be the sacrificial lambs,” Mrs Scoullar said.

A current focus of Speak Up is organising a water forum titled ‘Uniting the Southern Basin’, which will be held at the Moama Bowling Club on Friday April 13, from 11am.

The organisation has also built strong media and political connections. It has featured in numerous metropolitan newspapers and across Victorian and NSW radio stations this year, on all occasions attempting to highlight the need for a balanced Basin Plan that protects the environment, food production and rural communities.

Speak Up representatives have met with various political leaders, including federal Water Minister David Littleproud, and the organisation was invited for a private session during this month’s Productivity Commission hearing in Deniliquin.

It also continues to push for a united approach to advocacy in the NSW Murray and across the broader Southern Basin, which is a key aim of the water forum.

Mrs Scoullar said there was a financial cost to the work undertaken by Speak Up which made it necessary to generate memberships and funding.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support so far from organisations, businesses and individuals. Anyone who wants to join, or ask questions about the organisation, is encouraged to attend at the Cressy St kiosk on Saturday morning.

“With ongoing community support we can continue to promote and defend our farmers, businesses and communities, while highlighting the importance of food and fibre production to regional economies and the nation as a whole,” Mrs Scoullar said.

Membership forms and information about the Water Forum can also be found at Fellows Transport, Tasker’s Garage, Nat’s Barber Shop, Bimbella Beef and Expert Air, all in Deniliquin.

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