Parliament

Water Policy

September 10, 2019

Members Statement - I would like to get up here today and talk about all the wonderful people and events in my electorate, but if I do not talk about bad water policy—about the effect that water policy is having on my region—nobody else in this place will. I attended the Tocumwal rally last week. There was not a single person from any of the major parties on the day speaking to over 2000 farmers who are in distress. We need to do whatever we can whenever we can do something that might help, and there is one thing the Minister for Water in this state could do right now. In the Goulburn-Murray irrigation district (GMID) availability of water is a critical issue. It is well-known that as a result of the modernisation of our irrigation district and the water savings that we have achieved from that modernisation there is 75 gigalitres of water that is to come back to irrigators as part of that whole operation, and it still has not happened. I am reliably advised that 60 gigalitres of that water has now been audited and that there is no reason for any delay in that water being made available by way of delivery to every water shareholder in the GMID to assist them in the months ahead. I call on the minister to take whatever steps are required to release this water immediately. There is plenty of time to investigate how it might be delivered in the future, but right now our farmers need that water. It is their water, and they should have it. Minister, do not let committees stand in the way of it.

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