Ryan takes on wa­ter

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS - By Ali­son O’Connor

Mem­ber for Euroa Steph Ryan has a new feather in her cap, and will now over­see all things wa­ter in Vic­to­ria.

The Na­tion­als’ deputy leader has taken on the po­si­tion of Shadow Wa­ter Min­is­ter, tak­ing over from The Na­tion­als’ leader Peter Walsh, who had the port­fo­lio for the past 15 years.

Ms Ryan grew up on ir­ri­gated dairy farms at Murchi­son and Wyuna, and said she had seen first-hand the im­pact bad wa­ter poli­cies could have on coun­try com­mu­ni­ties.

‘‘I was mo­ti­vated to en­ter pol­i­tics after I watched the Brumby Gov­ern­ment dev­as­tate north­ern Vic­to­rian com­mu­ni­ties with the un­bundling of wa­ter rights and its de­ci­sion to take wa­ter from drought­stricken farm­ers in north­ern Vic­to­ria to sup­ply Mel­bourne,’’ she said.

‘‘The Lib­er­als and Na­tion­als un­der­stand that wa­ter se­cu­rity is just as im­por­tant for our coun­try com­mu­ni­ties as it is for ur­ban house­holds and busi­nesses.’’

She de­scribed the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s de­sali­na­tion plant as a ‘‘white ele­phant’’ that had drained mil­lions of dol­lars from Mel­bur­ni­ans.

‘‘La­bor has made such a mess that it now has to or­der 15 Gl every year just to keep its de­sali­na­tion plant work­ing,’’ Ms Ryan said. ‘‘Our state is grow­ing by more than 100 000 peo­ple every year and to sup­port this growth, Vic­to­ria must have a se­cure wa­ter sup­ply.

‘‘De­spite this, the Premier for Mel­bourne has no plan to man­age our pop­u­la­tion growth and re­gional Vic­to­ria is miss­ing out as a di­rect re­sult of La­bor’s in­com­pe­tence.

‘‘Only the Lib­er­als and Na­tion­als are de­vel­op­ing a whole-of-gov­ern­ment plan to man­age the growth of our whole state — not just Mel­bourne.’’

Ms Ryan picked up her new task in a reshuf­fle an­nounced last week. It’s busy times ahead for the lo­cal MP, who is also the Shadow Train­ing, Skills and Ap­pren­tice­ships Min­is­ter and the Shadow Young Vic­to­ri­ans Min­is­ter.

Tak­ing charge of wa­ter: Steph Ryan is the new Shadow Wa­ter Min­is­ter in Vic­to­ria.

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