News

We’re ‘opposed’

By Southern Riverina News

The Jerilderie and extended region has made it clear it ‘‘collectively opposes’’ the installation of a proposed Yanco regulator, according to Murrumbidgee Council Mayor Ruth McRae.

More than 300 people attended the Jerilderie meeting last Wednesday, after at least 100 people attended the Conargo meeting on Tuesday.

Both were hosted by the Department of Industry – Water to discuss sustainable diversion limit projects under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. A further 350 people were recorded apologies.

Cr McRae said there was a ‘‘real display of community concern’’ as there was uncertainty around the SDL project status.

‘‘We as a community were asking for clarification as to whether these were just ideas out there in the ether, or whether they are actually projects that have wheels and are moving forward,’’ she said.

‘‘What was very clear to me was the collective opposition to the installation (of the regulator).

‘‘I took away from the meeting that yes the process is in train and there will be huge compliance engagement, consultation and process to further advance these SDL projects.

‘‘There will be checks and balances along the way, so while the powers that be charged with implementing these projects are moving forward it is our hope that genuine communication will ensure those checks and balances are adhered to.

‘‘I have confidence the local governing and representative body YACTAC (Yanco Creek and Tributaries Advisory Council) have been in constructive dialogue with the people who conducted the two day roadshow, and I am confident their informed, positive and solution driven conversation will ensure that our communities collective best interests are listen to.

‘‘These projects have been out there since 2015, and my concern as the mayor of this community is for people to conduct their business; it’s a very non-productive way to conduct good business with such a high level of uncertainty.

‘‘When I walk into a room with 350 people from a regional collective I get a very strong message that these proposed projects have far reaching effects.

‘‘I’m very proud of this community, when the going gets tough they mobilise and come together for the good of everybody, not just our town. It’s for the good of everyone who lives and operates on the Yanco-Billabong Creek system.

‘‘They have chosen to live here, they’ve pioneered lots of the agriculture diversification, they’ve survived through significant economic and climatic challenges.

‘‘The people are resilient and brave but they are feeling vulnerable.’’