Water Irrigation

Review of Broken River system long overdue

20 December 2019


Landholders have waited for years for the Andrews Government to undertake a review of the Broken River system.

Labor guaranteed that the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan would not impact reliability of supply but Broken River irrigators have experienced nothing but poor reliability and low allocations since.

The review of the system and temporary changes to water rules announced by the Water Minister today is desperately needed, but it’s long overdue.

Despite waiting five years for the Minister to acknowledge serious problems with the reliability of water, it’s disappointing Labor’s sluggish review means landholders will still have to wait years for answers.

The Minister has left irrigators with more questions than answers.

Will the Minister activate emergency standpipes so that farmers can cart stock and domestic water where and when necessary?

Will landholders have access to unregulated flows from tributaries downstream of Lake Nillahcootie?

Labor sold out irrigators on the Broken River system when it decommissioned Lake Mokoan, leaving them with an ineffective and unreliable system.

It’s time Labor fixed its mess.

Background

Lake Mokoan and Lake Nillahcootie were commissioned for Broken River water storage in the early 1960s.

Lake Mokoan was decommissioned by the Bracks and Brumby governments in 2010.

The reconfiguration of the Broken irrigation system following the decommissioning has not seen the Victorian Government honour its commitments to maintain security of supply to the irrigators of the Broken.

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