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State MP Adrian Pederick goes in to bat for flood-affected farmers
A fencing program is being proposed to help River Murray irrigators affected by last summer’s floods, but more help is needed.
The way River Murray irrigators have been treated in the wake of last summer’s floods is a “disgrace”, the Murraylands’ state MP says.
Adrian Pederick visited Wall Flat last Thursday to hear from farmers who feared they would not be able to irrigate this summer because the clean-up hadn’t yet finished.
Irrigation channels still needed to be cleared, other infrastructure still needed repairs, and government flood relief funding had not been up to the job.
Most frustrating of all, though, was the seeming inability of government ministers and departments to take locals’ advice into account – an issue raised with Murray Bridge News again and again and again.
“River Murray irrigators tell me they have been in constant communication with government departments about the recovery efforts, but have unfortunately felt that their local knowledge has simply been dismissed,” Mr Pederick said.
“I am mindful that the livelihoods of many River Murray farmers were dealt a blow last summer, and I do not want to see that repeated this summer as a result of the government’s failure to act.
“These are issues that should have been addressed well before now … quite frankly it is a disgrace that farmers are finding themselves in this position nine months on from the River Murray flood.”
Community recovery coordinator Alex Zimmerman did suggest a new initiative to help farmers on Friday: a coordinated program to replace damaged fencing.
The program would go ahead if enough landholders in the Lower Murray reclaimed irrigation area expressed an interest by this Friday, October 27, he said.
Farmers would need to supply fencing materials, but fences would be installed by a team of volunteers.
Anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org by this Friday, October 15.
A parliamentary inquiry into the government’s handling of the floods also remains ongoing.
Express an interest in the fencing program: Email email@example.com by this Friday.
Have your say in the parliamentary inquiry: Email firstname.lastname@example.org by November 10.
More information about the inquiry: parliament.sa.gov.au.
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