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Last farmer on the Murray says all states must get on board

Wendy Collis, Thursday July 25, 2013 - 13:28 EST
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One of the barrages that separates Lake Alexandrina on the left and the Coorong on the right - heading towards Meningie, away from Mundoo Island. - ABC

The Coorong and Lower Lakes fared badly during 2009 when drought in other areas of the Murray-Darling Basin meant there was little water for those at the end of the system.

Since 2010, the system has been back in flow, but the dry time has had a huge effect on the environment and the people who live there.

Colin Grundy is a cattle grazier who lives on Mundoo Island.

He is the last farmer on the Murray before the river meets the sea, and believes it is time for all states to get on board with the Intergovernmental Agreement which will fund the Basin Plan.

He says it was tough to farm through the dry.

"It was very hard. Just cattle with feed but no water. In the summertime we were flat out, always chasing water problems, just 24/7.

"You'd wake up in the morning, look at the tanks, see if it had any water in it and your day would go on from there. If there was no water you'd chase leaks, just find water wherever you could.

"And with that, the environment just collapsed. Everything had a shock - there was just death and dying all around us.

"Turtles dying, cattle couldn't handle that salinity, they started to die.

"Younger stock would die, old cows seemed to survive, but we were just flat out trying to keep things alive in a dying environment. It was horrible."  


© ABC 2013

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