Residents of the Murray-Darling Basin are furious over a proposal for cuts to the region’s water allocation.

A crowd of more than 4,000 people jeered and heckled in protest at the community consultation in Griffith yesterday.

Lesley Price reports.

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TRANSCRIPT

Residents are angrily dismissing recommendations made in the “Plan to Save the Murray Report”.

Farmers are facing cuts of up to 45 per cent in their water allocations, in order to achieve a basin-wide reduction between 3,000 to 4,000 gigalitres, as recommended by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

The Government says the focus needs to be placed on the socioeconomic concerns rather than environmental ones.

Simon Crean, Minister for Regional Australia: “What we want is not just public meetings to vent anger.”

Independent MP, Tony Windsor who will head up a six-month federal parliamentary inquiry, says that the proposal is no where near final.

And if there are to be cuts, they will be determined through careful consideration for each region along the basin.

Tony Windsor, Independent MP: “I think we’ve got to walk slowly with the people who are affected by this and see if there’s a range of options that will fit their particular stressed circumstances.”

But residents are adamant they won’t back down until all their demands are met.

Paul Mayton, Leeton Mayor: “We will fight and we will continue to fight until we get some outcome that we believe is reasonable.”

Lesley Price, QUT News.