GV wa­ter plan com­mend­able

Shepparton News - - OPINION -

Wa­ter is such a key­stone is­sue to the long-term pros­per­ity of our area that any wait­ing game played by bu­reau­crats will even­tu­ally have ad­verse ef­fects on the liveli­hoods of us all.

The fail­ure by gov­ern­ments to de­liver a work­able wa­ter pol­icy is a lam­en­ta­ble stag­na­tion that needs a life­line of en­ergy, ideas and com­mit­ment to move the si­t­u­a­tion for­ward for the bet­ter­ment of us all.

As seems to be so of­ten the case these days, this en­ergy and com­mit­ment is com­ing from peo­ple out­side gov­ern­ment — from the peo­ple it di­rectly af­fects.

As State Mem­ber for Shep­par­ton Suzanna Sheed has said, it is in­deed dis­ap­point­ing that re­gional com­mu­ni­ties are now forced to do the work of the gov­ern­ment.

So the Goul­burn Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion Dis­trict Wa­ter Lead­er­ship Group has grown tired of wait­ing for the gov­ern­ment to act, and has come up with its own four­point test for wa­ter re­cov­ery un­der the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Plan.

We must ap­plaud this much-needed spark to reen­er­gise the whole process of wa­ter re­cov­ery.

The mat­ter seems to be too much of a po­lit­i­cal hot potato for gov­ern­ments to han­dle — but it can­not be left to lan­guish in the toohard bas­ket.

Wa­ter is the lifeblood of our farms, our busi­nesses, our fam­i­lies and our fu­ture.

The ques­tions raised by the wa­ter lead­er­ship group go to the heart of the mat­ter and could at least be used as a tem­plate for any fu­ture pol­icy dis­cus­sion on how to dis­trib­ute this valu­able re­source.

While bu­reau­crats are al­ready ask­ing for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est in off­farm wa­ter re­cov­ery projects in Queens­land and South Aus­tralia, here in the Goul­burn Val­ley we at least will have some mea­sure of how wa­ter re­cov­ery might af­fect stake­hold­ers.

The only ques­tions to ask now are — who will ap­ply the tests, and when will the gov­ern­ment sit up, take no­tice and sup­port our lo­cal lead­ers?

Pre­cious drops: Wa­ter is the lifeblood of our farms, our busi­nesses, our fam­i­lies and our fu­ture.

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