12 September 2019

“We’re going to need new politicians”: Quilty

Both major parties have turned their backs on northern Victorians after rejecting a motion by Liberal Democrats MP for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty to withdraw from the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Despite being told that crops are failing and inland dairy farming in the region is on its last legs, Mark Gepp and Wendy Lovell who represent northern Victoria for Labor and the Liberal parties both spoke against the motion. Ms Lovell proposed an amendment to redraft the Plan and Mr Gepp refused to even consider redrafting it. Mr Quilty said he was bitterly disappointed in them.

“I told Mark Gepp and Wendy Lovell that people in northern Victoria would be watching carefully. It turns out they either don’t believe me or don’t care,” Mr Quilty said.

During his speech, Mr Quilty described the Murray Darling Basin Plan as a disaster for northern Victorians.

“Victorian farmers are killing their livestock - and themselves – so that sailing clubs in South Australia can keep their yachts floating in fresh water. The governments involved in perpetuating this plan should hang their collective heads in shame – if government was capable of feeling shame. Maybe if the farmers of Northern Victoria were animals, action would have been taken to protect them.”

Following the speech, Mr Quilty said the Bill had at least exposed supporters of local irrigators for everyone to see.

“When judging politicians, you have to ignore what they say and note what they do. Both Labor and Liberal voted against pausing the plan. I am not really surprised to discover that the major parties don’t care, but have no regrets because it’s crucial that we keep up the pressure. Ultimately if we want change on the Murray Darling Basin Plan, we’re going to need new politicians. Currently none of them exist in the major parties.”

For more information, contact Gavin Atkins on 0408 829 971