Saturday, 16 June 2007

Proud Valley

The battle to protect the Clarence River and its tributaries is far from over, but while the Valley waits for the RRAT standing committee report on those daft water diversion proposals, there is time to take stock of our strengths.

To that end, as a Clarence Valley resident, I would like to express my gratitude to the following:
* Clarence Valley Council, for strongly defending its mandate to protect river systems within the catchment area;
* The indigenous communities and their elders, for firmly expressing both their deep cultural attachment to the Clarence and determined opposition to any water diversion;
* The Daily Examiner, its editorial and news staff, who have given us numerous well-researched articles on the water diversion debate and kept us informed of breaking news;
* Clarence River Professional Fishermen's Association and John McGuren, who have kept industry and productivity issues before the media and the Senate;
* Local community groups, such as the Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition and Clarence Valley Landcare, who have made sure that the Valley's voice is being heard on environmental matters and potential impacts on the catchment;
* The island trading fleet, for making its concerns known when it mattered;
* The many people who signed petitions opposing Clarence water diversion;
* Locals, like Janelle Brown, Col Shephard, Lynn De Weaver, Alan Townsend and others, who have made a point of expressing their individual opposition to any Clarence catchment water diversion, and;
* All those Valley residents who have expressed a quiet determination that neither the Clarence River nor its tributaries will be plundered for short-term political gain.

It would now be hard to find one politician with an electorate in New South Wales who is not aware of the Clarence Valley's stand and, we should all be proud of that fact.

[The Daily Examiner,Grafton,14 June 2007,Letters to the Editor,p.8]

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