The phone rang the other day. It was a friend asking whether the floods were a problem for us. We've been in Leeton for a few years but were living outside Wagga Wagga for a while before that, where flooding saw the CBD closed earlier this week.
The flooding hasn't stopped Leeton from celebrating Christmas. Which is fair enough, I guess. If you knew a 100-year old who said they wanted to celebrate Christmas in March then I'm sure you'd let them, right?
The centenary of Leeton presents an interesting perspective on the current flooding. Currently the supermarkets are struggling to supply some food items. I heard many shelves were bare earlier in the week and rising floodwaters will conitnue to close some roads.
More than a century ago the governments of the day considered the potential for food scarcity and developed irrigation farms, such as those in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA). Leeton was the first town built as part of decision, with the city of Griffith following.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority have revised their Basin Plan but it will still see the MIA lose some of the water allocated for irrigation farming. Food security remains the strongest argument against this proposal.
A century ago the governments saw the benefit is developing irrigation to ensure food would be available to grow Australia. I don't see what's changed, especially after recent bare shelves at the supermarket. If local flooding can threaten the food supply, what could a larger disaster do?