Pause the plan 'roadmap' presented at rally

A "ROAD MAP" for pausing the Murray Darling Basin Plan and the processes that would follow was presented at a pre-election event in Rochester on Monday.

Leitchville farmer Doug Fehring, a spokesperson for the recently created Central Murray Environmental Floodplains Group, which was an organiser of the event, said an estimated 150 people who attended had endorsed the sentiment of the document, which was presented to the Nationals' Member for Murray, Damian Drum.

Irrigators gathered for an election forum and Pause the Plan rally at Rochester on Monday.

Irrigators gathered for an election forum and Pause the Plan rally at Rochester on Monday.

"We delivered a comprehensive Pause the Plan document, developed in conjunction with the Southern Riverina Irrigators, to Damian Drum to take to Parliament to implement by the end of this financial year. If the plan is not pulled up by that point, we know they're not serious about pausing the plan," he said.

The document had also been delivered to the Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, he said.

Mr Fehring described Monday's event as a "meet the candidates forum with a Pause the Plan theme."

Five of eight candidates for the seat of Nicholls - formerly named Murray - addressed the gathering, Mr Fehring said. 

The seat was subject to a redistribution last year and was renamed after Sir Doug Nicholls, a Yorta Yorta footballer, pastor, activist and Governor of South Australia, and his wife, Lady Gladys Nicholls, a Baraparapa and Dja Dja Wurrung woman.

The event's organisers hired media personality Sam Kekovich to emcee the event and promote their message but attendance was lower than expected due to recent rains requiring farmers to start sowing, Mr Fehring said.

Around a third of those who attended were from the Gannawarra shire, Mr Fehring estimated.

Contacted later, Mr Drum said 'Pause the Plan' representatives should be careful what they wished for.

"..Pausing the plan could lead to things getting even worse," he said.

"The water policy document released by Labor on Monday is indicative of just how much worse things could get if we 'pause the plan', however I am working with these groups in a collaborative manner towards our shared goals. We are in the process of establishing a formal review into the socio-economic impacts of the Murray Darling Basin Plan implementation, which is what many of the 'Pause the Plan' groups have been calling for."

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