Community facilities | March 31, 2016

Kealy – Minister snubs West Wimmera

Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP is extremely disappointed the Minister for Water has snubbed the local people of West Wimmera by ignoring their requests to discuss drought conditions and water supply opportunities.

“In early January I wrote to the Minister for Water, Hon. Lisa Neville, on behalf of the West Wimmera Shire Council to co-ordinate a meeting to discuss drought conditions and water supply issues impacting our local people,” Ms Kealy said.

“The Minister has refused this request, completely neglecting local representatives who desperately want better water security for the West Wimmera, and need drought support that makes a real difference to struggling farmers and small businesses. It is so disappointing that the Minister now refuses to listen to locals to gain a better understanding of our challenges.

“The Minister’s refusal to meet with local people from the West Wimmera clearly shows how out of touch the Labor Government is with country Victoria, to the point that they no longer want to even listen to our needs.

“It is not just the Minister for Water that refuses to listen. The Premier also promised he would be in our area before the end of February and we are still waiting. Melbourne Labor’s lack of care for the people of drought ravaged country Victoria is not just a perception, it is a reality,” she said.

A community proposal to extend a water pipeline to Harrow, Edenhope and Apsley became a 'winning idea', as part of the Government's OurSay project to allocate the $10 million in drought relief funds.

The winning idea included securing a potable water supply to the region, improving water access to farmers with stock, in addition to consideration of environmental, recreational and social health and wellbeing impacts of providing a secure water supply to the region.

Ms Kealy said the Andrews Labor Government did not fund the project, even though the Premier and Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford MLC had promised to fund all winning ideas.

 “The Melbourne Labor Government must listen to our drought affected communities, improve our water security and get water infrastructure money flowing now,” she said.

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