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tocumwal-rally
Thousands of protesters gathered at Tocumwal Foreshore before marching across the bridge in protest. Photo: Tom McConnell

Tocumwal Rally

Tocumwal Rally

Thousands of protesters gathered at Tocumwal Foreshore before marching across the bridge in protest. Photo: Tom McConnell

Protesters are warning the Government they will take matters into their own hands.

Hundred of angry farmers and community members descended upon Tocumwal yesterday calling for the Victorian and NSW Governments to withdraw from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The protest called for an immediate pause of the Plan for the Federal Government to review and revise its measures.

Protesters directed their anger towards the federal Water Minister David Littleproud, calling for his removal from the portfolio.

Speak Up chair Shelley Scoullar said the crowd gave overwhelming support for the motion.

"We have no confidence or trust in his ability to implement a basin plan that can achieve any of the objectives of the Water Act or the Basin Plan," she said.

"We've asked for him to be removed, no, we demanded that he be removed from his portfolio."

Farmers and communities along Northern Victoria and the Southern Riverina were increasingly fed up with the zero allocations for the region.

Lachlan Marshall addressed a crowd of thousands to call for a change to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Source: Supplied

Blighty dairy farmer Lachlan Marshall made an impassioned plea to the Federal Government and its Water Minister at yesterday's rally.

Mr Marshall, whose family business has been forced to sell part of its herd after paying more than $1 million for water last summer to keep the cows fed, says farmers simply want the government to listen to their concerns and take proactive steps to fix some of the problems.

"The Federal Government is misleading the nation for political gain when it keeps trying to convince everyone that our problems are caused by drought," he said.

"It’s not drought, it is poor water management which is the consequence of inaccurate modeling and a Basin Plan designed primarily to win votes in South Australia, not protect the environment.

"If that was not the case, why would we be seeing so much environmental damage throughout the system? Look behind you, does that look like a river in the midst of drought?” Mr Marshall asked, pointing to the fast-flowing Murray River."

Protesters called for an immediate allocation to save crops and prevent further losses.

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Southern Riverina Irrigators chair Chris Brooks said people are demanding action, and are not afraid to take matters into their own hands.

"We try to actually manage the expectations of people, but people are ready to start blowing stuff up and burning stuff," he said

"We just gave them two weeks to address those motions that we passed to this crowd and if they don't we will be taking matters into our own hands.

"Now that's not a threat, that's a promise.

"I can't contain these people to sit back and accept the sort of crap that Littleproud and Sussan Ley [do]."

Mr Brooks said the Nationals need to know they're on the wrong side of the debate.

"You saw the election in the State here," he said.

"We tipped the National Party out and thank god we've got Helen Dalton here fighting for us.

"We did our best to tip Sussan Ley out and unfortunately we weren't successful this time, but I guarantee we will be next time."

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