The Lifeline Appeal by the Speak Up Campaign has received a boost, securing the organisaton’s first corporate sponsor.
De Bortoli Wines has continued its support of regional advocacy by coming on board to back Speak Up.
Speak Up chair Shelley Scoullar said it was a welcome addition to the Lifeline Appeal, which needs to raise funds so the advocacy group can continue its work on behalf of rural communities.
“Most of what we do is voluntary, however we need funds for research and professional media assistance. If we cannot raise money our advocacy will have to be curtailed or discontinued. That would be disappointing at a time when we are finally getting politicians to listen to the plight of rural communities,” Mrs Scoullar said.
Mr De Bortoli has been involved in water advocacy for many years, participating in various activities that have aimed at improving water management and policy, especially for southern New South Wales.
He said he appreciates the efforts of everyone involved in the Speak Up Campaign and was happy to help continue its good work by signing up as a corporate sponsor.
“It is imperative, for our region’s future, that we highlight to the public the flaws in the way governments are managing our most precious resource. It is being treated as a political tool, to the detriment of our communities.
“Efforts like those from Speak Up to promote the need for more effective policy deserve our financial backing. I would encourage others to come on board at the membership level they are comfortable with, as we need to ensure Speak Up continues,” Mr De Bortoli said. He has been a member of Speak Up since its inception.
Mr De Bortoli has also been a strong advocate for developing greater understanding of issues at the end of the Murray system in South Australia, where the traditionally estuarine Lower Lakes are being turned into a freshwater system, primarily using water stored in Hume and Dartmouth Dams. A negative consequence has been the environmental damage caused by sending huge quantities of water from the top to the bottom of the system.
Mr De Bortoli has also been integral in promoting greater understanding of the impacts the south-east drains have had on flows into the southern Coorong.
Mrs Scoullar said he has been “someone we can turn to with questions about the history of the region in terms of topography and hydrology”.
“He is always digging for the truth and trying to develop solutions. It is fantastic to have De Bortoli’s on board as our first corporate sponsor, as they exemplify what we are about – family farms, communities and ecological outcomes.”
Mrs Scoullar said the Lifeline Appeal had so far received strong support. Anyone who can assist Speak Up in its fundraising drive, which may include becoming a member at any level, should visit the website www.speakup4water.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Sue Braybon on 0409 314 174.