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Graziers to get ‘into the face’ of Nationals

Tuesday, 12th February, 2019

By Craig Brealey

The owners of Tolarno Station are hitting the road to let people in the big cities know what caused the ecological catastrophe on the Darling River.

“Two million fish killed is animal cruelty of epic proportions and we want everyone to know how that came about,” said Rob McBride.

He and wife Katharine will attend meetings and rallies in Melbourne this week and others in Sydney next week where they will also address students at Sydney University.

They will also be in Deniliquin to support NSW Shadow Water Minister, Labor’s Chris Minns, at a public meeting.

“We’ll have about a week-and-a-half on the road,” said Mr McBride whose property sits on the lower Darling which is due to have its supply cut at Menindee.

“We are really going to get into the face of the Nationals in their own heartland and the Coalition’s in Sydney,” he said yesterday.

“We’ll be in Melbourne until Saturday, then with Chris Minns in Deniliquin.

“After that it will be Sydney where we’ll hold seminars at Sydney University with Badger Bates, Chris Minns, and Roy Butler (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party) as specials guests.

“The Nationals have been invited.”

Yesterday, Mrs McBride was in Toowoomba for a flight over cotton farms with NSW Independent candidate for the Upper House, Jeremy Buckingham.

Mr McBride said it was all part of the campaign to back up what city people were discovering and to force a royal commission into the Murray-Darling Basin.

“Since the mass fish kills, everybody’s seeing what’s been happening at last. Even the commercial television stations are reporting it,” he said.

“In Sydney, Labor’s pushing the Darling River with ads on television.”

Last month, after a year-long hearing, the South Australian Royal Commission found the Murray-Darling Basin Authority had made decisions in breach of the law and in defiance of scientific evidence.

Now support for a federal royal commission was coming from across the political spectrum, Mr McBride said. 

Independent Senator for South Australia, Rex Patrick, of the Centre Alliance, had backed it as had Corey Bernardi from the Australian Conservatives and Sarah Hanson-Young from the Greens, he said.

Mr McBride said he hoped Labor would join them to get the royal commission “over the line.

“Obviously, the Coalition is never going to do it,” he said.

The MDBA last week rejected the SA Royal Commission’s findings and pledged its “full and public support” for its Chief Executive Officer, Phillip Glyde.

Mr McBride said he never expected anything else from the MDBA.

“Phillip Glyde must stand down immediately. 

“After what the South Australian Royal Commission found, he and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority have not a shred of credibility left. 

“The findings are damning. The Commissioner found (the MDBA) acted unlawfully.

“Glyde should stand down. The whole board should all stand down. They have shown total ineptitude and worse.

“The government’s too cowardly to act so maybe we should ask the Governor-General to step in and end this absurd situation.”

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