Water

No GV water visit as inquiry ends

by
September 26, 2017

Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville also said G-MW was not asked by the parliamentary inquiry to host a visit.

The federal parliament’s committee inquiring into irrigation efficiency has wrapped up its public hearings without coming near northern Victoria.

The last public hearing was in Griffith on September 15.

The committee has declined invitations to visit northern Victoria, the largest irrigation region in Australia.

Committee chair Rick Wilson has accused Goulburn-Murray Water of refusing to host a visit by the committee.

G-MW has denied this.

Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville also said G-MW was not asked by the parliamentary inquiry to host a visit.

‘‘If the inquiry made a future request G-MW would facilitate a visit, as they have done with other requests,’’ Ms Neville said.

‘‘The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, who are the statutory authority for this program, did make a submission, but were not asked to host a visit.

‘‘I would encourage the inquiry to take the time to visit northern Victoria and speak to local farmers, and would be happy to work with them to make this happen.’’

Ms Neville said the Andrews Government did not direct G-MW on the issue.

The Goulburn Broken CMA, which manages the sustainable irrigation program across the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District, made a submission to the inquiry.

Mr Wilson said the Griffith hearing was the last day of hearings for the inquiry.

In a submission to the inquiry, Murray Irrigation voiced the concerns of some farmer bodies when it pointed out that the region had benefited from irrigation efficiency programs in which water was traded for on-farm grants.

‘‘Infrastructure spending has consistently been the preferred method for water recovery as farms with improved water use efficiency maintain or improve their productive capacity.

‘‘However, it is the view of Murray Irrigation that all water recovery has an impact on the region from where it came, regardless of whether it is recovered though buyback or efficiency measures.’’

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