Opinion

Letters to the editor

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March 13, 2018

Federal Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud and Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum meet with irrigators in Lancaster on Thursday.

Closed shop visit

- Nigel Hicks, Wyuna

Last week we saw the Federal Agriculture and Water Minister chaperoned around to hand-picked locations and audiences to ‘‘look’’ and ‘‘listen’’ to locals on the issues of water and the dairy industry.

Although, unlike prior visits by the former minister, there was some awareness of the impending visit before the minister arrived, it was still a closed shop visit.

Following the most recent visit, I contacted Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum to ask if, when the minister returns in a few weeks time, there could be a public meeting open to all that was well advertised in advance.

The response I received from Mr Drum was a defensive reply and a denial of dodging open scrutiny.

I also contacted the minister via email, to which I await a reply, and via his Facebook page.

My comments inviting him to face an advertised public meeting when he returns were deleted and I was blocked from commenting on his page.

Government is supposed to be for the people, not of the people.

If representatives are not willing to face the public, we have a serious problem.

I contacted a number of people who have been active on these topics for a number of years and have an in-depth knowledge of the topics to see if they were invited to the meeting last week.

They had not been, likely because their views opposed that of the government, particularly on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The destruction caused by the basin plan must be stopped, yet the current government ignores the indisputable evidence put before it, including at the Senate inquiry several years ago as they push ahead with their own agenda.

Face the public and listen to the genuine concerns of all in the area, not just the chosen ones.

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