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Battle Over Pipeline Erupts in Victoria

If you drive around in country Victoria it is impossible to not spot all the signs of farmers’ properties protesting the construction of a pipeline that will divert water from country Victoria to Melbourne:

A MOTHER of two wept as she was frogmarched off the family farm by police for trying to stop construction of the north-south water pipeline.

As her distressed 80-year-old mother pleaded from her wheelchair for police to arrest her too, Deb Bertalli, 50, was charged with obstructing construction of the Sugarloaf Pipeline.

She was told she would face additional and more serious charges if she continued to obstruct pipeline workers on her property.

Graphic images of Ms Bertalli being forced off her cattle farm near Yea, in the Goulburn Valley, threatened to ignite tension over the pipeline as up to 15 police were called in to deal with Ms Bertalli and her family.

“This is disgusting,” Ms Bertalli screamed as police grabbed her by her arms and forced her from her 300ha property, over an electric fence.

“I’m being escorted off my own property,” she said, bursting into tears.

The arrest is expected to be the first of many as landowners try to obstruct construction of the pipeline.

Ms Bertalli yesterday called on other farmers and anyone who cared about the state’s river system to follow her lead and resist the project.

Ms Bertalli had forecast her physical clash with authorities on September 12, the day Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett approved the pipeline.  [Herald-Sun]

Everyone I know who lives in country Victoria hates the Victorian Premier John Brumby who they feel is railroading this pipeline on the people of country Victoria in order to appease the major voting block in Melbourne.  This cartoon from the Plug the Pipe website pretty much captures how farmers in country Victoria feel: