Water Irrigation

Liberal Nationals securing water for the Sunraysia

12 September 2018

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will take a plan for capacity shares to Basin Ministers to increase water security for irrigators on the Murray River downstream of Nyah.

Increased horticultural production and demand for water in the Sunraysia region has raised concerns among Sunraysia irrigators and industry representatives on the security of supply for local irrigators at peak periods.

The Mildura region is home to the fastest growing almond industry in the world, producing 70 per cent of Australia’s almonds. It’s also a significant citrus growing region, producing a third of our nation’s navel orange and grapefruit crop.

There’s been significant change in water use, availability and reliability in northern Victoria since the beginning of the millennium drought.

Over the past decade, growing horticulture production has put more demand on water, with many opting to rely on allocation trade from Victorian, New South Wales and South Australian irrigators downstream of Nyah, rather than entitlements, to grow crops each year.

If elected, the Liberal Nationals will develop a capacity share arrangement for the Murray River to ensure ongoing security of supply for irrigators downstream of Nyah.

We need to model the capacity of the Murray River to deliver water in peak summer periods and investigate the constraints on delivering this water.

Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia share the Murray River, so it’s important that a capacity share scheme is implemented jointly.

Despite calls from irrigators and industry representatives to assess the delivery capacity of the Murray River, the Andrews Labor Government has refused to do anything to secure water supply for Sunraysia irrigators.

Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan

The Sunraysia continues to be ignored by a city-centric Premier who can’t see past Melbourne’s tram tracks.

Horticulture’s thirst for allocation is putting pressure on the Murray River’s capacity to deliver water to irrigators and the environment at the peak of summer when they need it most.

Only a Liberal Nationals Government will make sure local irrigators can get the water they need, when they need it.

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