October 18th 2003


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: ENVIRONMENT: Don't spoil a good story with the facts ...

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Reshuffling the decks

AGRICULTURE: Unrestricted water trading a danger to farmers

FEDERAL ELECTION: Deregulation, drought, the dollar and the $7.5 billion surplus

FAMILY: AFA Conference calls for strengthening of marriage law

COMMENT: Poor always the losers in a middle class game

LETTERS: WA capitulates on Competition Policy (letter)

LETTERS: Taiwan and the UN (letter)

LETTERS: First Mildura Irrigation Trust (letter)

LETTERS: Rural economy (letter)

LETTERS: The future of rail (letter)

TAIWAN: Making strides in biotech

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Flying down to Rio / Shooting stars and black holes / Digging holes and filling them up again

RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS: Dr Pell's new appointment welcomed

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LETTERS:
First Mildura Irrigation Trust (letter)


by Arnold Jago

News Weekly, October 18, 2003
Sir,

First Mildura Irrigation Trust (FMIT) has been a cooperative for 108 years.

Members elect a Board, which then elects a chairman, and the State Government Minister endorses that appointment.

Last year local MP, Russell Savage, verified with the Minister that this arrangement still holds (press release, 22 August, 2002).

So, Jim Belbin, elected by the Board in June 2003, can confidently expect to be appointed Chairman by the Minister.

Or can he?

  • is the rumour true that Mr Belbin will remain merely "acting" Chairman until he knuckles under government policy?
  • is Mr Belbin being pressured to sign a "confidentiality agrement" regarding the unpopular Deakin Project, but refusing (rightly) because he can enter into "agreements" only under instruction from his Board?
  • is Mr Belkin being required to present monthly reports to the Minister (via bureaucrat, Professor Neilson) and to submit to visits from departmental "inspectors"?


Local irrigators are demanding answers from the Government.

They support their board and their Chairman in fighting for farmers' rights - and their survival.

Arnold Jago
Mildura, Vic




























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