Suggestions that Queensland cotton growers at the top of the Murray Darling Basin are wasting water is “offensive, sad, and hard to take,” according to AgForce Water Committee Chair and farmer Kim Bremner.
Mr Bremner said uninformed comments like those made by South Australian Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick, who called for cotton exports to be banned because their production uses water from the Murray-Darling river system, were factually incorrect and harmful to Australia’s agriculture industry.
AgForce has been staunch in its public support for the State’s struggling cotton growers, many of whom are finding it tough to grow any crops because of the drought.
Mr Bremner said he had been forceful in defending Queensland producers in a number of media interviews.
“These people accusing Queensland cotton growers of contributing to problems with the Murray Darling River system thousands of kilometres away are ill-informed and need to get their facts straight. They’re taking cheap shots at growers who are actually suffering from a lack of water,” he said.
“Faced with the ongoing drought and reduced water allocations, many producers are not actually growing cotton this year and those who are are actually using run-off from the floods.
“It is insulting to growers in places like Dirranbandi, St George, Goondiwindi and across the Darling Downs to say they are taking water from the Murray-Darling,” he said.
AgForce has come out in support of cotton growers, many of whom also grow grain, and fully endorses Cotton Australia’s position that political stunts like those from the Centre Alliance and others have no place.
“Anyone that says growers in Queensland are stealing water needs to be able to back that up. We have data – actual facts – that prove that isn’t the case.”
/Public Release. View in full here