Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed welcomes news that the Minister for Water Lisa Neville will be visiting the Shepparton region next month to meet with stakeholders.
Ms Sheed used her adjournment in Parliament on 1 May to call upon the Minister to visit the Shepparton District as a matter of urgency to see for herself the damage to the Goulburn River as a result of inter valley transfers and environmental flows.
“It has taken a while for water managers and the industry to be heard but the fact is our Victorian iconic Goulburn River is being significantly damaged by the high flows that are required to transfer water to the Sunraysia region and South Australia,” Ms Sheed said
Last week the Almond Board of Australia made a call for a moratorium on issuing new water use licences below the Murray choke. This would effectively put a hold on the huge development that has taken place in recent years particularly with the expansion of the almond industry. There is a high demand for almonds across the world but access to water is being recognised as a major hurdle for this water intensive horticultural crop.
“I have seen for myself the damage occurring to the banks of our river and been provided with video footage by recreational users and those who live along the river showing the evidence of this. These high river flows are damaging the environmental work that has been undertaken in previous years to improve our waterways. It is a ridiculous situation that we have our own environment and river health suffering to deliver these high inter valley transfers and environmental flows,” Ms Sheed said
“It is time for the Victorian government to take action and I have called on the Minister for Water Lisa Neville to use her powers under the Water Trading Rules to limit these inter valley transfers. She has the power to do so and I believe that she is required to do so where there are such obvious negative environmental and third-party impacts,” Ms Sheed said.
The Goulburn Valley Environmental Group have also expressed their concerns about environmental damage calling on both the MDBA and the Victorian government to take action and use the powers available to them.
Last month President of the Goulburn Valley Environment Group John Pettigrew expressed his concerns to Minister Neville about damage to Goulburn River as a result of transfers.
“The Goulburn River below the Goulburn Weir now finds itself in a similar position to the Barmah Choke but without the safe guard of limited flow rates over the irrigation delivery season,” Mr Pettigrew said.
Myles Peterson 0467 035 840│firstname.lastname@example.org