One thousand farmers, and their supporters, didn't turn up in Albury yesterday because everything is going swimmingly with the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
To the contrary, they're disappointed and distressed at the way water is flowing past their farms to South Australia, depriving them of what they regard as their fair share.
Farmers aren't stupid. They know that nobody wins if the environment is pulverised to the point of no return but, at the same time, it's not unreasonable to ask for a fair go.
The Murray Darling Basin Plan is a complex beast, involving four states - NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria - along with the federal government, so there are no easy fixes.
Independent candidate Kevin Mack supports pausing the plan and he went a step further by calling for a royal commission into its impact on our nation's southern foodbowl. Farrer MP Sussan Ley made the point that not all farmers in Farrer want to pause the plan.
On the available evidence, pausing the plan seems the best course of action. Not because we say so, but because of the concerns of the 1000 farmers who hit Albury.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Ms Ley was booed and heckled when she eventually got on stage at yesterday's rally but at least the Farrer MP was prepared to front up and face protesters.
The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for federal water minister David Littleproud who, just a hop, skip and a jump away over the Murray River, was announcing a project to, ironically enough, improve farm water management.
Mr Littleproud says we live in a big country and that he can't be everywhere at once, which is true, but if you think it's sheer coincidence that the announcement in Wodonga came at exactly the same time as 1000 farmers protested in Albury, you also believe in the Tooth Fairy.
When quizzed on why, as water minister, he bypassed the rally, Mr Littleproud said "I'm not hiding" and that "I'm going to look them in the eye and say we will not be pausing the plan".
Excuse us minister, but it's a little easier to look someone in the eye if you actually turn up to their event.
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