THE Anglican Bishop in the Riverina recently said water is a human right and should not be traded for money.
Blinkered politicians deregulated the water market and it is now traded as a commodity to the highest bidder. We now have water barons.
The impact of this is that farmers and irrigators are unable to bid for water and are forced out of the market.
The basin plan has added to this with the government buyback of water for the environment locking in 20 per cent of flows, even through an intractable drought with water running past farmers and irrigators.
We are now at the crossroads as a country for food security.
Strategically, food security is a national security issue to maintain our freedom.
We know endless droughts are part of living on this land. We know natural rainfall has diminished season to season. We know rivers can run dry.
And we know that to maintain our freedom, food security is vital to our future.
Historically, water was always tied to land ownership to be used productively.
We never want to reach the stage of importing food and milk with all the associated risks of being at the mercy of foreign economic coercion because a foreign power does not like our stance on freedom and human rights, or does not like our right to speak out as an independent country.
Unfortunately, we live in times when a precious resource like water has a traded price to no productive purpose with no outcomes for the community.
This economic model of a market without limits will only cause suffering to individuals and communities.
Look around us; towns running out of water, towns dying, businesses going broke, irrigators and farmers with no water.
Our politicians practise short-term policies that lack what the country needs; long-term deregulation of essential utilities and resources is a fool's game that bypasses the real needs of people and communities.
Give us practical politicians that have courage and foresight. Time to wake up, Australia, while there still is time.