Hands off our river: Cansdell

By EMMA CORNFORD

A SUGGESTION to divert Clarence River flows to irrigate inland New South Wales has been slammed by the Member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell.

The idea was raised by Labor party Member for Murray-Darling Peter Black at a meeting of water users in Deniliquin last week. The proposal is not new, but Mr Cansdell said he would always be against the idea.

"This is something the Greens and I would stand shoulder to shoulder on to stop it happening. As I've said, I'd let it through only over my dead body," he said yesterday.

"Years ago some National Party people were talking about it but it was dismissed. At my pre-selection in 1999 I was asked if there was one issue I would cross the floor on, and I said yes, if they ever tried to divert the flow of the Clarence then I would cross the floor no matter which party brought it up."

Mr Cansdell said it was up to the Premier, Morris Iemma, to put an end to the idea.

"If this is Country Labor policy then it's the wrong way to go ... but if it's not then he needs to get up and nip this issue in the bud

very quickly because it's not something that should be able to even be on the cards," he said.

"If the idea is floated and not questioned by Iemma then it's on the agenda and we need to stop that happening."



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