The Independent Member for Gippsland East, Craig Ingram, has slammed the South Australian senators for backing protest group, Plug the Pipe, which has campaigned to dam the Mitchell River in Gippsland.
The Senators, Greens Sarah Hansen-Young and Independent Nick Xenophon, attended the rally on Sunday at Yea.
Mr Ingram said that by fully backing this protest group, the Senators were giving support for the Plug the Pipe groupâ€™s anti-Gippsland dam policies.
â€œPlug the pipe protestors have previously held rallies in Melbourne with banners promoting damming Gippsland rivers and have issued press releases supporting damming the Mitchell River as an alternative to the north-south pipeline,â€ Mr Ingram said.
â€œWhile it may be politically popular for South Australian Senators to fight for increased flows down the Murray, it should not come at the expense of another river system or the already stressed Gippsland Lakes.
â€œThese fly-in interstate senators need to explain why they think that Gippslanders should be considered second-class citizens when it comes to water politics and why our rivers should be surrendered in their media stunts.
â€œFor the Greens to back a pro-dams group is the height of hypocrisy, particularly Sara Hansen-Young originally hails from Orbost in the Gippsland region.
â€œUnlike the Mitchell Dam being pushed by Plug the Pipe supporters, the water for the proposed north-south pipeline will be sourced from verified water savings projects.
â€œDamming the Mitchell will just take water from another rural community and condemn the Gippsland Lakes and this heritage river to ecological harm,â€ Mr Ingram concluded.