1000 rally in Albury

By Southern Riverina News

Albury’s central CBD halted to a stand still yesterday when more than 1000 people descended on the regional city to demand a pause of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

An estimated 137 trucks travelled through the town displaying messages which pleaded with the Federal Government to save basin food bowls before it’s too late.

The rally, coordinated by Voices for Farrer, centred on Albury’s QEII Square off Dean St.

Farrer’s two main contenders for the pending election — incumbent Liberals member Sussan Ley and the Voices for Farrer backed Independent Kevin Mack — addressed the crowd as part of the rally.

One attendee told the Southern Riverina News, Ms Ley ‘‘probably faced her most hostile reception ever during her 18 years as the federal member, with some holding placards right in her face and many people booing’’.

Other speakers included Southern Riverina Irrigators deputy chairman Darcy Hare and Speak Up Campaign chair Shelley Scoullar.

Voices for Farrer founder and Barooga farmer Chris Brooks said it is clear the Murray-Darling Basin Plan ‘‘is not working for the environment or communities’’.

His daughter and fellow farmer Carly Marriott said she got involved in the rally to tell the ‘‘water policy megalomaniacs to listen up’’.

‘‘I’m a farmer in the Murray Irrigation district. We just led a grassroots revolt in the New South Wales election, ousted the Nationals and replaced them with our own local water warrior (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ Helen Dalton).

‘‘I want to make it very clear for those of you who make and enforce water policy. Family farmers come with a history for the environment and appreciation for seasons, and ingenuity that ensures the future generations.’’