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Statement regarding the Goulburn Murray irrigation district

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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray


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Statement regarding the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has just contacted the media saying the Commonwealth should keep paying the Victorian Government to dismantle the North Victorian irrigation system, destroying farmers and the system's viability, because if it doesn't get the "savings" of 204 GLs by closing down half of the system the MDBA might come back into the market and offer to "buy back" the water. Presumably the VFF is totally captured by the State? Or is it so out of touch?

I totally agree with the official Mid Term Review, that the $1 billion project must be "reset" before any more damage is done. As it says, the Business Case (not available to the public) was based on "false assumptions". These "false assumptions" or untruths were that farmers really wanted to see their supply channels (half the system) dismantled because so many had been forced to sell their water during the drought!

I am insisting that the first objective of the "reset" GMWCP2 project must be that "no irrigator is left worse off" or if mutually agreed, full compensation of short and long term losses are paid to the irrigator. Second the GMID is left "improved, efficient and viable." Third those who have already been financially damaged through this shocking debacle are fully compensated for their losses.

The "reset" project will have to be expertly designed and implemented with every landholder on each spur participating in the outcome. GMW is not competent to do this work.

The extra 204 GL that the VFF wants to come off irrigators can come from Melbourne t***ö***Ã¥*[*ê**Û*Ã’ GL that came out of the system via stage one, (NVIRP) and from the VEWHs bucket. Not a drop more should be taken from Northern Victorian irrigators if productivity, the remaining communities, jobs, and the environment are to be preserved.

Federal Member for Murray

Sharman Stone

Media contact: Callum Whitehead 0437 096 982