Drum calls for wa­ter

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS - By Myles Peter­son

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Mur­ray Damian Drum is ad­vo­cat­ing the tem­po­rary re­lease of some en­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter for ir­ri­ga­tion be­cause of the drought.

‘‘The Com­mon­wealth En­vi­ron­men­tal Wa­ter Holder has said that they would re­lease 10 Gl onto the mar­ket,’’ Mr Drum said.

‘‘So we’ve been able to get some. It’s a start.

‘‘We’re look­ing more along the lines of can they push that to 30 or 50 or 70 Gl, be­cause they have an am­ple amount of wa­ter in their stor­age.

‘‘They’re due fur­ther al­lo­ca­tions next year. So they have an enor­mous amount of wa­ter that could eas­ily be bor­rowed right now, so we get that wa­ter out to the right farm­ers.

‘‘We need to get the fod­der grow­ing now. We could get a cou­ple of hun­dred tonnes of fod­der.

‘‘It’s pre­dom­i­nately for trans­port into the Rive­rina re­gion, the mid­dle of NSW. They’d be eter­nally grate­ful,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re not look­ing to take wa­ter away from the en­vi­ron­ment, we’re look­ing to bor­row. There’s a big dif­fer­ence and we’d only be glad to have this bor­rowed wa­ter sit on the ledger and have it re­paid in later years.’’

Mr Drum made the com­ments dur­ing a visit to Canberra last week by a del­e­ga­tion from the City of Greater Shep­par­ton.

‘‘I think it was great to have the Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter — hav­ing it re­in­forced to him the im­pact of wa­ter pol­icy and how im­por­tant it is,’’ Mr Drum said.

‘‘Ev­ery time David Lit­tleproud comes into the val­ley he is con­fronted by the im­por­tance of wa­ter pol­icy.

‘‘The Com­mon­wealth En­vi­ron­men­tal Wa­ter Holder has al­ready been run­ning a series of en­vi­ron­men­tal flows for the last two or three months down the Goul­burn and they’ve al­ready pumped a fair amount of wa­ter down the river.’’

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