Ron Pike: Hits hard with speech to Senate Enquiry at Griffith
Mister Chairman, Honourable Senators, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I warmly applaud and thank you for instigating this Inquiry and bringing this hearing to where the people are most affected.
This is an inquiry that goes to the heart of the credibility of our Government, because it questions whether our elected Representatives are acting in the interests of the people, or pandering to agencies outside Australia.
It does so because the passing into law of the Water Act, removed from many Australians and particularly those who produce our food, the sovereign right to use the water that falls from the sky. That right is enshrined in our constitution and the Government has acted in contravention of the constitution.
The Water Act and its bastard child the MDB Plan has taken from productive and adaptive people the right to use water from storages built for that purpose. At the end of the millennium drought and as a result of that drought, the Federal Government, in an act of callous treachery bought water entitlements from farmers financially crippled. Crippled, not so much by the drought, but by the immoral policies of Government agencies. Robber Baron Bureaucracies wickedly charging for water entitlements they could not deliver. In a situation of incapacity to care for their families, desperate people sold to a treacherous and dishonest Government. Treacherous because they hounded people at their weakest and blamed them for problems they did not cause; and dishonest because they claimed this was to save our rivers.
How could this save our rivers when farmers were not extracting water?
That Government then handed those entitlements to a hastily assembled and feckless bureaucracy with no plans, no practical or scientific understanding of our rivers and no idea how to use that water to any advantage.
Never before has a greater act of bastardry been forced on the Australian people.
In doing so every Politician that supported this Plan broke their vow of office; “I will well and truly serve the people of Australia.”
Mister Chairman, that solemn vow and the MDB Plan are incompatible.
Incompatible, because our Government has handed our stored water to a money and water wasting bureaucracy that cannot even identify what The Environment is or where it presides; a bureaucracy that does not know where the mouth of the Murray River is; or that water does not flow uphill. A bureaucracy that falsely claims water conservation and irrigation has adversely affected wet lands.
The facts are Mister Chairman, Honourable Senators, our rivers were not dying. The problems of the Coorong are unrelated to the Murray River. The mouth of the Murray River is near Wellington where it has been for hundreds of years and where the river delivers its water into what was the biggest tidal estuary on the Australian coast. A previously pristine estuary destroyed by a former group of unaware Politicians that also did not appreciate the consequences of their actions. As detailed in my submission the greatest lie of this whole sorry saga is that man made flooding is possible and necessary.
The development of water conservation and irrigation dramatically improved and expanded the aquatic environment of the MDB; it did not as claimed destroy so-called environmental assets, it added to and enhanced them.
Before implementing this draconian Plan no consultation was sought from those who would be affected or from those with practical knowledge of our river system. As a result we have a Plan that does not even address the biggest problem of the last drought. The devastation caused to those who use water from the Lower Lakes. This Plan ensures that they will be faced with the same situation only much sooner in the next drought.
Mister Chairman, Honourable Senators; all Parties got this wrong. The Parliament has made a mistake and that mistake must be corrected. Until it is the people will have no faith in their Government or their Politicians.
We appeal to you to restore our faith in a Government that has failed us; show us you are of the people and for the people.
Pick up the phone and call the Prime Minister, and in the most serious manner tell him that this is a National emergency. What is happening here is a greater act of terrorism than what has happened in Sydney. People are being pushed to the edge, families wrecked, businesses destroyed and as a result over two million people are afraid for their future. Ask Mr. Turnbull to drop all else and come here and listen to the victims of this unnecessary policy.
Tell Mr. Turnbull that when he comes he will be cordially treated and shown how our water can be managed in a fashion that is better for all. We can guarantee water for all users. A policy that will make him and his Government look competent and responsible and will restore our faith in the Government.
Mr. Leyonhjelm, let us walk that path together, with our Government in the National interest, in the name of decency and everything that Australia means to us all.
Please make that phone call now.