THE cotton industry has been bashed and hammered of late and the industry is fed up, hitting back at claims exports should be banned.
The industry has copped plenty of backlash with claims it is wasting water and ruining the environment surfacing in media across the country, as well as on social media.
Now, the announcement by the Centre Alliance they will introduce legislation to ban the export of cotton has been labelled as an “outrageous attack on industry and regional Australia” by Leeton shire business Southern Cotton.
Southern Cotton general manager Kate O’Callaghan said the move showed a “complete lack of education” and understanding of water allocations.
“The political point-scoring attempt by the Centre Alliance is a move that, if successful, will likely destroy entire rural communities,” she said.
“It is time the facts are put on the table.
“I’m calling on Senator Rex Patrick of the Centre Alliance to visit our region, speak with growers, our industry and us to gain a better understanding of how efficient and sustainable our industry really is.”
Those who peddle the idea that cotton growers “steal water” and “ruin the environment” as has been suggested on some social media channels, don’t realise farmers with general security water are last to receive water – only after towns, environment and permanent plantings.
This year, there is a seven percent allocation for general security water license holders in the Murrumbidgee and zero per cent in the Murray.
“We are in the grips of a devastating drought,” Mrs O’Callaghan said.
“If there is no rain, chances are there will be no crop, of any kind, in the Southern Valleys in 2020 because there will be no allocation and no carryover from this year.
“We implore Senator Rex Patrick to stop using fictional information to political point score and we look forward to welcoming him to the Riverina to educate him on the reality of our industry.”
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