Environment and Water | March 08, 2018

East Grampians pipeline

Victorian Parliament - 8 March 2018 - Ms KEALY - On this International Women’s Day I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the former Minister for Women, Fiona Richardson. Today it has been disappointing that we have not heard a lot about Fiona’s achievements over the years —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Yan Yean!

Ms KEALY — She was an outstanding and tireless campaigner for gender parity —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Yan Yean will come to order. The Leader of the House!

Ms KEALY — and I think that it is appropriate that the Parliament does acknowledge all of the work that she did. I know there are people who would like to hear about Fiona today because she did do an outstanding job. Certainly from our side of the Parliament we do acknowledge her work.

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Water, and the action that I seek is for the minister to join me to meet with landholders in the East Grampians region to hear their concerns about reliable water access and the need for the East Grampians rural pipeline. The rural communities of Ararat Rural City Council and Pyrenees and Northern Grampians shire councils are primarily reliant on rainfall run‑off for their water supplies. During the prolonged droughts of the last decade water security and access have been severely impacted. A business case has been prepared by GWMWater, which investigated delivering untreated water to the East Grampians region. The proposed pipeline project would increase productivity and diversity across agricultural sectors, enhance community wellbeing, safety and resilience and reduce pressures on the already highly stressed natural catchments.

I invite the minister to come to the East Grampians region and to see my fantastic electorate, particularly the areas around Willaura, Mininera and Tatyoon and south of those areas that are impacted by an extreme shortage of water. When I was in Moyston in early 2015 I know they had a huge problem trying to fight the fires because their access to water at that time was extremely difficult. After that there was a lot of damage to stock. It was extremely stressful for local farmers not to be able to access water during that period.

This pipeline is an important project, and the water shortages have an impact right down to the Lake Bolac region and also Wickliffe as well. A huge portion of the Lowan electorate is impacted. I ask the minister to come to my electorate and listen to the locals so that she understands the impact on the region of this water shortage and recognises the benefits of the East Grampians rural pipeline.


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