Min­is­ter says dam wa­ter is sit­ting idle in Qld

Central Queensland News - - RURAL WEEKLY -

LIB­ERAL Na­tional Party Shadow Min­is­ter for Nat­u­ral Re­sources Dale Last has called SunWater to task.

He said with the drought front and cen­tre for ru­ral and re­gional com­mu­ni­ties it would sur­prise most that we have not run out of wa­ter – in fact our dams are quite full and sit­ting idle ready to be used.

Mr Last said the sit­u­a­tion with full dams not go­ing to those that need it most was sim­ply not good enough and said it needed to be ad­dressed.

“Queens­land’s re­gional dams and ir­ri­ga­tion schemes re­main well stocked with an im­pres­sive 103 per cent avail­able to meet ex­ist­ing wa­ter en­ti­tle­ments across the state,” Mr Last said.

“In 2017-18, the La­bor State Gov­ern­ment’s re­gional wa­ter provider SunWater only de­liv­ered 55 per cent of the wa­ter en­ti­tle­ments and 54 per cent the year be­fore – in what were both par­tic­u­larly dry years.

“What’s go­ing on here? Why isn’t our avail­able wa­ter be­ing used by our drought af­fected farm­ers and com­mu­ni­ties?

“Does La­bor Nat­u­ral Re­source Min­is­ter An­thony Ly­h­nam think it ap­pro­pri­ate that po­ten­tially pro­duc­tive wa­ter lan­guishes in our dams evap­o­rat­ing while our drought af­fected farm­ers con­tinue to suf­fer?”

Lib­eral Na­tional Party Shadow Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture Tony Per­rett was in no doubt over why the wa­ter was go­ing to waste in our dams even dur­ing this drought – the eye wa­ter­ingly high costs of elec­tric­ity.

“Farm­ers and ir­ri­ga­tors can’t af­ford to pump wa­ter un­der the La­bor gov­ern­ment’s sky high elec­tric­ity prices,” Mr Per­rett said.

“We know that when it comes to agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion more wa­ter means more pro­duc­tion re­sult­ing in jobs and pros­per­ity for ru­ral and re­gional com­mu­ni­ties – es­pe­cially dur­ing times of drought.

“In the end it’s the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties that lose out from less wa­ter from the un­sus­tain­ably high elec­tric­ity prices.

“It’s time for this La­bor Gov­ern­ment to step up and take ac­tion on en­sur­ing our wa­ter is be­ing used pro­duc­tively to grow the food and fi­bre that sup­ports ru­ral and re­gional Queens­land.

“The Lib­eral Na­tional Party has com­mit­ted to end­ing the elec­tric­ity di­vide be­tween re­gional Queens­land and the south­east cor­ner by de­liv­er­ing af­ford­able and re­li­able elec­tric­ity for house­holds and busi­nesses no mat­ter what your post­code.”

To see the full re­port, visit SunWater 2017-18 An­nual Re­port on page 87 at www.sunwater.com.au/ about-sunwater.

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