We need water transparency
As a food producer in the NSW Murray Valley, my main aim is to access water to put onto my paddock to grow food for my fellow Australians.
Last year I had an allocation of three per cent, however, that was not allocated until quite late in the season, and it was such a small amount that using it there and then was not an option.
Yes, I carried over that small amount in the hope that I could add it to more this year with the aim of contributing to food production, creating jobs and economic stimulus for my community in the process.
The three per cent last year followed zero per cent the previous year and 51 per cent the year before that.
You can imagine how frustrated my fellow genuine food producers and I are at the allocation announcement by NSW Department of Water last week when they reported the average carryover was 21 per cent, giving food producers access to 38 per cent of our water entitlements.
This reporting gives an extremely false representation of the current situation for genuine food producers.
There needs to be greater transparency in water ownership that shows who is carrying over that water.
Anyone could be buying water and parking it on NSW Murray general security licences, but this carryover volume does not reflect what the average genuine family farmer has access to and has available to use.
If ever transparency was needed it is now.
In these difficult economic times it is impossible to understand why the NSW Government and its water department will not help us grow food and stimulate the economy.
But I suppose that’s what we have to live with when those in charge are primarily city born and bred, with no genuine understanding of effective water management.
— Ben Wilson Tocumwal, NSW