The Ricegrowers' Association of Australia have taken aim at senators during the Senate inquiry into the proposed 'Restoring Our Rivers' bill - particularly criticising hostility towards the industry from South Australia.
The RGA's Water Policy Manager Linda Christesen appeared alongside representatives from the National Farmers' Federation on day one of the senate inquiry, but the RGA said she faced hostility from senators.
RGA President from Murrami Peter Herrmann said that the treatment had shown a lack of respect towards the entire industry.
"It was really disappointing to see how some Senators acted towards panel members from our industry. They were rude, close-minded and kept interrupting the panel," he said.
He called out biased time-keeping from the chair, allowing too much time to South Australia and taking it from irrigators and the agriculture industry.
The Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Bill aims to amend the 2007 Water Act and the 2021 Basin Plan to create more options to fulfil the commitments to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan including providing additional time for states to fulfil their obligations and repealing the cap on Commonwealth water purchases.
Mr Herrmann said that senators had failed to grasp the importance of preventing water buybacks.
"The water buybacks and omission of socio-economic protections in the proposed Bill will have an irrevocable impact on not only the agriculture industry but countless rural communities. We need the Senators to understand the significance of that," Mr Herrmann said.
The committee will report their findings to the Senate on November 8 before the bill goes to a vote.
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