Fending off Barnaby Joyce's ambition
Letter to the Editor published in The Daily Examiner on Thursday 29 January 2009:
So Queensland Liberal National Party Senator, Barnaby Joyce, is considering the poisoned chalice (thrust towards him by John Howard) and may yet abandon the Senate and seek election to the House of Representatives.
If there was one thing pointing to this politician's foolishness it would be the fact that he is reportedly considering such a move with one eye on the seat of Page in the NSW Northern Rivers.
He must have the shortest of memories himself or think that people in the Clarence Valley have such faulty recall that they would fail to remember that he supported the Howard-Turnbull push to dam and divert water from the Clarence River catchment.
Yes, baying at the back of that particular water raider's pack came Senator Joyce, who sat on the Senate RRAT Committee inquiry into additional water supplies for south-east Queensland where he made it plain that he was not adverse to any proposal to steal Clarence freshwater so that his Queensland mates could continue their unsustainable irrigation practices [April-August 2007].
He also voted against The Greens motion in the Senate which read in part:
"That the Senate:....(b) calls on the Federal Government to: (i) abandon plans for damming the Clarence, Tweed, Richmond and Mann Rivers;" [C'wealth Hansard,Senate,proof issue,19 August 2007,p.p. 33-34].
As late as the middle of last year he was still including mention of the Clarence catchment in his discussions on water supply:
"You can't create water with money. That means you have to think about bringing it from somewhere else, like the Gulf or the Clarence." [The Land, 13 August 2008]
Voting for Barnaby Joyce to fill a federal seat anywhere on the NSW North Coast would be allowing the water raiders to once again get a foot in the door after Northern Rivers communities had so firmly slammed that same door shut in 2007.
JUDITH M. MELVILLE