MORE than a thousand irrigators showed what they thought of a draft plan to slash their water entitlements at a rowdy meeting in Mildura today.About 1000 people crammed into the meeting while up to 300 unable to get in listened to proceedings on loud speakers outside as Murray Darling Basin Authority officials explained the plan and took questions.
One person was ejected, and many walked out on the meeting.
The 9am meeting finished at about 12.15pm, with another one getting under way at 2pm.
"People were polite for a while, but it wasn't long before they were yelling and screaming and carrying on,'' Merbein irrigator Danny Lee told The Weekly Times.
"There was a lot of angst. People were extremely upset that this sort of bureaucratic bulls..t would even be considered.''
"People were walking out in droves all day, shaking their head in disgust at this garbage.''
"We're all under threat if we lose a third of our water, it'll be the end of the area as we know it, there'll just be a few corporates that survive.''
During the break between the meetings, the Sunraysia Irrigators' Council held a "Ban the Plan'' rally, which was addressed by local state MP Peter Crisp, Victorian Farmers Federation president Andrew Broad and federal coalition water spokesman Barnaby Joyce.
Mr Lee said the council also organised a delegation to present the MDBA officials with a basket of local fruit and a script of a pantomime recently performed locally involving the trial and sentencing of the MDBA plan.
"We had a trial at a pub in Wentworth, where charges of high treason were laid, and the plan was sentenced to be cast to the bottom of the river for all time,'' he said.
A copy of the report was stitched with wire to a pair of gumboots in concrete and consigned to the river from a paddleboat, Mr Lee said.
"So today we had two 10-year-old girls and four guardians who made the presentation to the officials, who only accepted them reluctantly.''
Mr Lee said there were growing signs the plan would be abandoned given recent statements by politicians and even the MDBA itself.
"But they'll keep going with their consultations because to stop now would be to admit total defeat.''