Speak Up is giving everyone a say

By Tyla Harrington

ENSURING there is a united approach to helping the region prepare for the future was the aim of a forum in Deniliquin last week.

A vast range of organisations came together on the day to take part in the discussions on how they could work together for regional benefit.

The forum followed the recent Crisis Rally, organised by the Speak Up Campaign.

Speak Up chair Shelley Scoullar said there had been strong grassroots community support for developing a more collaborative approach to addressing issues of concern, in particular around water policy.

‘‘Following our Crisis Rally, Speak Up met with representatives of Murray Irrigation Limited and Edward River Council to discuss a positive pathway forward,’’ she said.

‘‘We agreed a forum involving various stakeholders was the first step towards setting future direction.’’

The forum included representatives from Edward River, Berrigan and Murrumbidgee Councils, many irrigation and farming representative groups, plus other stakeholders including Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre.

‘‘It was generally acknowledged that a collaborative, regional approach to addressing issues affecting the NSW Murray, especially around water policy, is imperative,’’ Mrs Scoullar said.

‘‘Those present agreed to meet again in a fortnight to further plan an effective pathway forward.

‘‘On behalf of Speak Up I would like to thank everyone who attended the forum, and especially MIL and Edward River Council for their roles which made it happen.

‘‘Special thanks to Michael Renehan who was an excellent chairman.

‘‘We are looking forward to ongoing positive dialogue to ensure our community’s united voice is heard across our regions, capital cities and importantly in political circles.’’