In Parliament this week Independent Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed called on the Minister for Water the Honourable Lisa Neville to invoke her powers under the water trading rules in order to reign in the damage being caused to the Goulburn River by high flow inter valley and environmental transfers to downstream almond growers and to South Australia.
“For years the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority has been tasked to deal with the improvement of the environment of the Goulburn River banks and verges and substantial sums of money have been invested in this work. We are now being faced with the loss of that valuable work as a result of frequent high level flows down the Goulburn River to meet inter valley transfers and environmental requirements,” Ms Sheed said.
“Something needs to be done to prevent ongoing damage.”
She asked the Water Minister to invoke Rule 26 of the Water Trading Rules to put a cap on trades, or refuse any further trades that would be likely to cause any material adverse impact on the environment or other water users.
“When water trading was introduced the social and environmental damage that would be caused as a result of significant inter valley transfers further downriver and beyond the GMID was not anticipated. The socio-economic damage to the GMID has been clearly articulated in a number of reports including that obtained by your government. It is now quite clear that the architects of the Murray Darling Basin Plan were well aware of the damage to irrigation communities that would flow from the plan but were not prepared to be upfront about it,” Ms Sheed said.
She called on the Minister to come to Shepparton and see for herself the damage that is occurring in our River system. “The trade of water at such high levels out of the GMID must be reviewed as a matter of urgency and steps taken to reduce the impacts that are now so obvious,” she said.
Leanne Raditsas 0422 211 774 │ email@example.com