Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has called for the immediate release of 75 GL of water into the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District.
Farmers in the Greater Shepparton region are struggling under high water costs and a lack of available water despite being promised access to upwards of 75 GL returned through water savings.
“I am reliably advised that 60 GL of that water has now been audited and that there is no reason to delay it being made available to all delivery shareholders in the GMID to assist them in the months ahead,” Ms Sheed told the Victorian Parliament today.
“I call on the Minister for Water the Hon Lisa Neville to take whatever steps are required to immediately release this water. There is plenty of time to investigate other options and ways of dealing with the distribution of this water in future years. Right now our farmers need that water, it is their water and they should have it. Minister do not let a committee stand in the way of relieving what is an immediate need.”
Following a large rally at Tocumwal last week where thousands of farmers vented their frustration at the Murray Darling Basin Plan and Federal Water Minister David Littleproud, Ms Sheed said the status quo could not be allowed to continue.
Thousands of family dairy farmers have already left the industry placing unacceptable pressure on the economic health of the GMID region and its communities over the last 20 years. Associated industries are also suffering. Just last month Nestlé announced plans to close its factory at Tongala with the loss of 100 jobs, yet another blow for the region.
“We cannot allow the Murray Darling Basin Plan to continue to disrupt the very fabric of our region, closing down valuable farms and destroying parts of our environment,” Ms Sheed said.
“We must continue to take whatever steps are available to us to provide relief to our farmers who are under such great stress as a result of water shortages and high prices.”
Myles Peterson 0467 035 840│firstname.lastname@example.org