Water rally in Canberra

By Dairy News

Dairy farmers from the Murray-Darling Basin were well represented in the Convoy to Canberra protest rally held on December 2.

Irrigating dairy farmers were among the thousands of people who marched on the capital to urge governments to scrap the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and to reform water policies.

The protestors say the plan has devastated regional communities, leaving them without schools, doctors and sporting teams. The Convoy to Canberra group said there was water available but government policies were denying farmers access.

It comes as the government launched plans to provide subsidised water to farmers to grow fodder for livestock.

Federal Water Minister David Littleproud said the first 40 gigalitres would be available for farmers from December 9.

"It will help farmers keep their herds healthy so they’re not forced to de- stock," he said.

Earlier in the week, the MP warned there was water sitting idle across the basin.

He said the underuse was puzzling and called on states to make sure farmers were using every drop they could.

"We need to get under the bonnet of this to find why it’s going on," he said.

Protesters want the basin plan "fixed" or scrapped, more dam infrastructure and other measures like carp control to help improve conditions in the Murray-Darling.