Environment and Water | March 16, 2018

East Grampians Pipeline must be in State budget

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP and Steph Ryan MP, Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Water have met with landowners in the East Grampians region to hear their concerns about the lack of access to a reliable water supply.

“I was proud to host a meeting with the Shadow Minister for Water and a dozen local land holders to hear about the pressures they are facing due to the lack of a secure water supply,” Ms Kealy said.

“We heard from landowners who are carting water for stock and crop spraying which is both expensive and time consuming and of the critical water shortage for firefighting and routine activities such as roadside burns.

“The area is a prime agricultural region but the prolonged droughts of the last decade have severely impacted on water security resulting in farmers being forced to destock, wineries severely restricting their operations and recreational facilities drying off.

“A secure water supply would not only help manage risk of water shortage, but would provide a host of opportunities for business growth in intensive farming opportunities such as poultry and piggeries, creating economic growth and local jobs,” she said.

A business case prepared by GWMWater for construction of an East Grampians rural pipeline clearly demonstrates the project would increase productivity and diversity across agricultural sectors, enhance community wellbeing, provide a reliable water supply for fire-fighting and reduce pressures on the already highly stressed natural catchments.

In Parliament last week, Emma Kealy MP invited the Minister for Water to join her and meet with local landowners affected by extreme water shortage in the East Grampians.

The Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan has supported Ms Kealy’s call for funding of the project in the 2018 State budget.

“The Liberals and Nationals understand that water security is just as important for our country communities as it is for urban households and businesses,” Ms Ryan said.

“I am calling on the Andrews Labor Government to allow the East Grampians pipeline project to proceed to provide local landowners with access to a secure and reliable stock and domestic water supply as soon as possible”, Ms Kealy said.

Ms Kealy thanked the Shadow Minister for Water for taking the time to meet with local landowners and to help highlight the urgent need to improve water security in the region.

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