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Wednesday, 11 August 2021
Page: 41


Mr DRUM (NichollsChief Nationals Whip) (13:53): Today the Liberal-National coalition announced 40 water infrastructure projects nationwide which will share in over $108 million of federal funding under the National Water Grid Connections pathways. The $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund is paving the way to national water security, while promoting local economic activity and job creation along the way.

Over the last 10 years, the Goulburn Valley has been the beneficiary of over $2 billion of investment from the federal government in water efficiency projects. This has created an incredibly efficient region that produces so much of Australia's food and fibre. Irrigators across the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District in my electorate of Nicholls will reap the benefit of this government's $4 million contribution to the Goulburn-Murray weir's $14 million upgrade of 50 kilometres of channel and critical headworks infrastructure at the water storages. The channel improvement works will underpin regional agricultural businesses and their productivity and maintain service affordability.

Farmers across the GMID are heading towards what should be an absolute cracker of a season. Goulburn-Murray water storages are currently at the highest levels they have been for some years. Broadacre croppers, livestock producers and fruit growers are benefiting from excellent rainfall over the last few months, producing conditions that should see near-record yields, along with strong commodity prices. Now is the time for calm, well-considered water policy for the future.