Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A Message to the Two Tonys - Not A Drop!

The Federal Labor Member for Page Janelle Saffin taking the Clarence Valley's message to Water Minister Tony Burke and New Englland Independent Tony Windsor on 18 October 2010, according to the Commonwealth Hansard:

Page Electorate: Clarence River
Ms SAFFIN (Page) (10.57 am)—I have a message on behalf of my community in Page that I want to give to the parliament and everybody who is going to be involved in the Murray-Darling Basin plan and debate. The message from my community, which is home to the Clarence River—and a lot of people seem to be talking about wanting to get their hands on it and are looking at it for diversion—is this: not a drop. Right across my electorate thousands of cars have that on their bumper stickers: not a drop. In effect it is saying hands off the Clarence River.
The idea that the Clarence River can be diverted is one of those issues that have been around for quite some time.
Everybody has raised this issue at different times. In particular, there was some engineering plan that it could be done. My message to the two Tonys is: not one drop will be taken out of the Clarence River. I have also been told, and I do not want to verbal the honourable member for Kennedy, that on the member’s website he talks about those not in favour of looking at some sort of diversion as being political pygmies. While I am not going to comment about my size and whether that is correct, I would say to the honourable member that the people in the Clarence Valley and in Page are certainly not political pygmies. The catchment area of the Clarence River falls within 100 kilometres of the New South Wales coastal strip. Our industries are fishing—we have a huge commercial fishing industry—and agriculture, and the economy is heavily underpinned by that commercial fishing. There is also forestry and tourism. It is all worth a lot to us. This debate is one of those debates that come up every now and then. Engineering wise, we can do anything—we can do marvels—but in terms of the environment and also the viability of the Clarence it would be a disaster. They can look all they like but—
The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. Peter Slipper)—Order! In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members’ constituency statements has expired.

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