Water boost welcome but more action needed
Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has welcomed additional water being made available to struggling northern Victorian farmers and is calling on other water organisations to do their part.
Ms Sheed urged Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) farmers to take advantage of the 14GL of water being reallocated from the Connections Project to help them tackle the continued dry conditions in the region.
“In an ideal world, given the water has come out of the GMID system it would be returned to GMID irrigators and not the broader northern Victorian water market, but getting any water back into the system is a positive outcome for our farmers,” Ms Sheed said.
“I understand an extra 75GL from Melbourne water corporations and 10GL from the Victorian Environmental Water Holder will also be made available in small bundles which will hopefully result in as many people as possible being able to buy more water.”
Ms Sheed said the region’s food producers were at a crossroads and that it was time for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to show its support.
“The GMID has already lost almost a third of its dairy farmers in the past two decades due to drought, high water prices and industry challenges and forecasts suggest we’ll lose even more by the end of the year if farmers aren’t given the help they need,” Ms Sheed said.
“Losing dairy puts our irrigated horticulture at risk and the impact of that on both the state’s economy and our access to high-quality, locally grown produce would be devastating.
“The Commonwealth holds a huge amount of water in storage and I would urge the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to follow its Victorian counterpart and put some extra water on the market.”
Riahn Smith 0419 138 978│firstname.lastname@example.org