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Lobbyist plans rural tour to talk water reform

Church lobby group PolMin is embarking on a speaking tour of parts of drought-affected New South Wales to suggest that Catholic Social Teaching has some insights to contribute to the current debate on water reform.

"The current drought - the worst in 100 years - and its effects on rural communities makes water policy a key national policy issue for both Federal and State governments," said lobbyist Victoria Kearney ahead of her visit to the dioceses of Armidale and Wilcannia-Forbes.

"Salinity, food production, rural and regional survival and development arising from the current water crisis are some of the key challenges facing Australia's policy decision makers," she said. "Proper and appropriate management of water as a resource is a necessity if we are to protect this essential resource and ensure the survival of rural communities."

Called Water: the Common Community Cause, the tour draws on Catholic social teaching in an attempt to encourage local communities to participate in the current debate on water policy reform. PolMin is inviting community members, politicians, community leaders, Catholic and non-Catholic to attend the talks. Dates and venues will be published in the local media.

Ms Kearney teaches health, environment and community development subjects at a university in Sydney. Her area of special interest is in developing community consciousness about issues, and community participation in changing government policy.

PolMin - the Australian Political Ministry Network Ltd (PolMin) - describes itself as a "national not for profit organisation committed to bringing about systemic change in Australian society ... in accordance with Catholic social teaching".


Murray-Darling Basin Initiative
Salinity in NSW (Dept of Land and Water Conservation)
Adelaide Catholics encouraged to observe International Year of Fresh Water (20/1/03)
International Year of Fresh Water
A New Earth: The Environmental Challenge (2002 Social Justice Sunday Statement)
Catholic Earthcare Australia

4 Feb 2003