News

Urban advocate makes his point for growing audience

By Tyla Harrington

MELBOURNE’S Christopher Field has become a bit of an unlikely advocate.

He had no idea when he uploaded his first ‘Topher’s Unpopular View’ to YouTube what a Pandora’s box he was opening.

What began as a bit of a rant about the Victorian water crisis back in 2009 soon turned into a series of unpopular views culminating in one on The Murray Darling Basin Authority Debacle in March 2011.

But he’s back and at it again.

Taking a week-long tour this time around to reveal the devastating impacts the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s Basin Plan has had on regional communities.

He has travelled from Mulwala to Moama, Deniliquin to Menindee.

And it’s not pretty.

He has been inundated with stories — and not too many of them are positive — and the more he hears the angrier he is becoming.

“I take no pleasure in predicting what a mess this would become back in 2011. If a blue-collar kid from Melbourne could predict this years ago, where have all the bureaucrats been hiding?

“There is just so much despair about how the Government could get it so wrong for so long and many are questioning what is it actually going to take to make it stop,” Christopher said.

He said environmental water is being sent down the river to evaporate out of Lake Alexandrina, the bush is being flooded in the height of summer and NSW irrigators sit on zero allocation, unable to produce food for the nation.

“They can’t give farmers any irrigation water and yet they can send water down the river to evaporate, that offends every sense of decency for a fair go and just validates MDBA mishandling of our water.

“It’s not about protecting human lives. These farmers are decent hard-working people and they are being screwed over by the people who are meant to be helping. I can’t believe how bad things have gotten and it is just infuriating.

“The dam is about to break and there is some serious political pressure unfolding — the Government don’t seem to realise the votes they are winning downstream are being seriously negated by those they are losing upstream, at a rapid rate.

“I am hoping a groundswell of anger can force our major political parties to pay attention before it’s too late.”

Christopher said the next series of videos will be released in time for the federal election at www.facebook.com/topherfield