Communities impacted most by water buybacks were denied the opportunity to present in their towns to a Senate Committee inquiring into the latest water reform legislation currently before Federal Parliament.
Labor and the Greens voted against a motion from Shadow Water Minister, Senator Perin Davey, that would have directed the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee’s inquiry on the Water Amendments to hold public hearings in Deniliquin, Griffith, Mildura, Renmark, and Shepparton.
“I attempted to have the inquiry amended in order to ensure the committee heard voices from the regions directly impacted by water recovery, but it was voted down,” Senator Davey said
“The Labor committee members backed by the Greens determined they will only be holding hearings in Canberra, which tells you all you need to know about this Government’s opinion of regional communities.
“Therefore, my colleagues on the Coalition Backbench Committee on Agriculture and I will be visiting regional basin communities next week to hear directly from people in impacted communities.
“These meetings will be an invaluable opportunity to listen and understand the impacts these legislative changes could have on communities in the Murray-Darling Basin.
“We will be visiting the regional Basin communities of Shepparton, Renmark, Mildura, Griffith, and Moree.
“The discussions, concerns, and insights raised will greatly help shape and inform our stance on the Water Act Amendments and help us argue the case for communities in the Parliament.
“As Labor and the Greens have routinely stated in relation to another topical matter, when you listen to people on the ground who are impacted by decisions made in Canberra, you get better results, and that is what we will be doing next week,” Senator Davey said.
The schedule for the tour is as follows:
Shepparton – Monday 2 October, 11.00am SPC Shepparton, Board Room 2
Renmark – Tuesday 3rd October, 10am – Renmark Hotel
Mildura – Tuesday 3rd October, 4pm – Alfred Deakin Centre, Benetook Room.
Griffith – Wednesday 4th October, 10:00am – Regional Theatre
Moree – Thursday 5th October, 10:00am – Social Co House