Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says she is concerned the official reaction to the Convoy to Canberra protest this week will not deliver for farmers in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District.
“I’m not sure what exactly Minister Littleproud put on the table other than another review,” Ms Sheed said. “There have already been over 35 reviews and the government is yet to take up any recommendations including that of the Productivity Commission.”
Ms Sheed congratulated organisers and the thousands of farmers who attended the Convoy to Canberra Protest.
“Thousands of farmers representing tens of thousands of their peers and members of their communities took the time to go to Canberra and strongly voice their frustration with the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. But what did they get for it?”
The quick reaction to the protests by National Party members in the Federal Government, the National Farmers Federation and other peak bodies is to be welcomed, according to Ms Sheed.
“The Federal Government has asked state governments to help strengthen the powers of the Water Inspector General Mick Kealty – but what are these powers and how will they help solve the water crisis? It is so important that issues like compliance, flood plain harvesting and the rollout of metering in NSW is closely monitored,” Ms Sheed said.
“We need a clear statement from Minister Littleproud of what he has agreed to so everyone who attended the protest can fully understand his stated position.”
Ms Sheed remains supportive of much of the work being done at a Victorian Government level on inter-valley transfers and water market transparency including the examination of the role of speculators and water brokers. Ms Sheed has recently called on the Victorian Government to undertake a widely supported review of the current carry-over rules.
“Victorian farmers were the targets of the early buy-backs and have given up the most water to date. Not another megalitre should leave Victoria’s consumptive pool.” she said.
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