Irrigators will have more time to have their say on the delivery share review, with the feedback period extended until the end of the month.
Yet not everyone is happy with the extension, with Victorian Shadow Water Minister Steph Ryan saying there is still not enough time for farmers to consider long-sought-after pricing information.
Further information regarding the breakdown of costs relating to the infrastructure access fee applied by Goulburn-Murray Water was uploaded to the review’s webpage last week.
‘‘Labor has long known about the pressure infrastructure access fees are putting on our irrigators who have been calling for a breakdown of these fees,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘(Victorian Water Minister) Lisa Neville has delayed the release of this pricing information and is now putting pressure on to assess it, even though it doesn’t provide the detail for which irrigators have asked.’’
Feedback to the delivery share review, which outlines a suite of potential changes to the system, was originally set to be due by August 20.
VFF water council chair Richard Anderson welcomed the extension until August 31, saying he had previously voiced concerns the consultation period was too brief.
Yet he said, given the newly publishing pricing information, the government shouldn’t rush to any definitive results, insisting there was still plenty of work to be done regarding examining pricing and fees.
With a state election set to take place in November, Mr Anderson cautioned the parties against any plans they may have to put the review back on the shelf.
‘‘If you get in (at the election) you need to finish the job properly this time,’’ he said.
‘‘Because (irrigators) are running out out of patience . . . they’ve just about had enough.’’
Ms Ryan said the Coalition intended to hold a full review of the charges of northern Victoria’s rural water authorities to ensure equitable water storage and Fees usage . . . New data has revealed where funds from 2017-18 infrastructure access fees in Central Goulburn, Rochester, Loddon Valley, Murray Valley and Torrumbarry districts go. Source: Goulburn Murray Water and DEWLP delivery costs if it won the election.
Following community forums in the GoulburnMurray and Sunraysia irrigation districts, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has received more than 50 submissions.
Ms Neville urged irrigators to have a say on the proposed changes which include 16 options which have been shortlisted for recommendation or further investigation.
For more information visit engage.vic.gov.au/deliveryshare-review Review of Delivery Share in Northern Victoria can be made via email at email@example.com
vic.gov.au/deliveryshare-review Submissions can also be mailed to: Delivery Share Review, Level 12, 8 Nicholson St, East Melbourne 3002.
An extended drought would have a ‘‘significant’’ effect on the economy and food prices, says Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe.
Farmers are battling drought, with the worstaffected areas in northern Victoria, southern Queensland and all of NSW.
A new report by Commonwealth Bank has put the potential cost at $12 billion and warned of food price hikes.
Dr Lowe told a parliamentary hearing earlier this month the drought was so significant the RBA board had looked at rainfall charts at its last meeting, which it had not done for some time.
Asked about the outlook, Dr Lowe said it depended ‘‘very much on the scenario you paint for rainfall’’.
‘‘If things return to normal fairly soon we could expect a rebound, but if it goes on like it did in the drought at the turn of the century then the effects on the economy are significant.’’
He said in 2002-03 farm output fell about 25 per cent, knocking a full percentage point off Australia’s growth and leading to many rural workers losing their jobs.
As well, food prices rose by 4.5 per cent, because slaughter rates increase as droughts bite.
‘‘The current drought is not as serious as that one and we all certainly hope it won’t be,’’ Dr Lowe said.
In the short term, rural exports could rise as meat production increases, but at risk is an agricultural sector which accounts for up to 15 per cent of total exports.
The Commonwealth Bank report found the current drought had the potential to cut GDP growth by between 0.5 per cent and 0.75 per cent of GDP or between $8 billion and $12.5 billion.
Chief economist Michael Blythe said while drought may ‘‘take the edge’’ off total growth, the Australian economy was still likely to show a good result overall.