| June 24, 2016

The Nationals have a better plan for our irrigators

Friday 24 June 2016

The Nationals have a better plan to secure more water for our farmers and irrigators.

Damian Drum, The Nationals candidate for Murray, is fighting to get a fair deal for irrigators across our region but Duncan McGauchie and the Liberals want disconnected Canberra-based bureaucrats to decide the future of our water security.

The Liberals are misleading Goulburn Valley irrigators and Duncan McGauchie’s empty promises will not  secure our valuable water resources.

“Duncan McGauchie has made a promise he can’t keep.

“He is claiming he can bring the Murray Darling Basin Plan review forward to 2016 even though the Federal Liberals, Sharman Stone included, just voted to push it out until 2026.

“It is also naïve and highly misleading for Duncan to promise that a  full review will improve our situation. The last few years have seen low inflows, dry river beds, and blue-green algae outbreaks. What do you think a Canberra based bureaucrat would make of that?

“The green movement wanted a 7,000 GL plan. A significant portion of the Labor Party wanted a 4,000 GL plan. South Australia is still pushing for a 3,200 GL plan within the current framework.

“Then there are a group of bureaucrats, who wrote the plan and are still involved in water policy, who see the first review of the Basin Plan as the opportunity for “Basin Plan mark 2”. Essentially a second grab for water,” said Mr Drum.

Mr Drum said we need a fresh approach to fixing the problem, not empty promises.

“The priorities I will fight for are moving the MDBA to the Shepparton and bringing 300 jobs and $35 million annually to the region and importantly bringing the policy makers to the region to experience first hand the impacts of their decisions.

“It is important to stop any more more water leaving the area through the 450gl of up water.

“I will work hard with the Nationals Water Minister Barnaby Joyce to progress other things that can be done to improve the managment of the system and the availability of water which include:

   recognition of the environmental benefits of irrigation water offsetting some of the environmental flows needed.

  •    Conduct an inquiry to determine the full impacts that carry-over rules have on the water system.
  •    Improving transparency of water ownership and traders
  •    Abandon the proposed idea of unbundling groundwater ownership.
  •    Not support the Constraints Management Strategy and protect private property from man-made floods.

“This election the choice is clear. The Nationals are best placed to deliver the outcomes our irrigators need for our region to get back on track.” said Mr Drum.


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