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Rally against the "Great Divide" pipeline

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Around 800 people who attended the rally at Shepparton today voted unanimously to reject a pipeline to Melbourne and support water infrastructure upgrades.

The meeting also unanimously supported a motion declaring the Goulburn Valley Food Bowl Alliance, Northern Victorian Irrigators Inc and appointed VFF negotiators didn’t represent the views of irrigators and the communities in Northern Victoria.

Nationals MP for Benalla, Bill Sykes, attended the meeting along with several other Nationals MPs and State and Federal Liberal Party MPs.

Dr Sykes said, “The outcome of this meeting should send a loud message to Mr Brumby and Mr Bracks – 800 people voted against the proposed pipeline compared with 106 who voted for continued involvement in the whole project (not the pipeline specifically) at the Northern Victoria Irrigators Inc Meeting on Monday, 2 July 2007.

“Two themes recurred during the series of speakers by Liberal and Nationals MPs and a local water resources committee representative – ‘You can’t trust the Bracks Government’ and ‘Are the claimed water savings really available?’

Nationals Deputy Leader, Peter Walsh, highlighted a trail of broken promises by the Bracks Government and Liberal Party Leader, Ted Baillieu reinforced the broken promises an took a very strong stand against the pipeline – pointing the Bracks Government to other water savings options such as recycling Melbourne’s waste water and capturing some of its storm water.

Dr Sykes concluded, “It is clear that we have a battle on our hands. The Bracks Government have been extremely slick and deceitful in the management of this whole process. We need to harness the skills and experience used to successfully defeat the Bracks Government’s Toxic Dump plans for North East Victoria. We need to force them to make savings South of the Divide and sign up to the National Water Plan to achieve savings North of the Divide – all of which will stay North of the Divide, split evenly 50/50 irrigators and environment.

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Written by Greg Naylor

5 July 2007 at 8:04 pm

Posted in media release

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