Water must stay in Victoria
The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria, Luke O’Sullivan, spoke out regarding the Murray Darling Basin Plan during adjournment debate in Parliament, asserting that up-water should not leave the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District if it was to cause a negative impact on Northern Victoria.
Mr O’Sullivan spoke in support of his Nationals party colleagues on the matter of up-water leaving Northern Victoria.
"The action I seek tonight is for the Minister for Water to follow the lead established by The Nationals leader, Peter Walsh, when he was the Minister for Water, in ensuring that there can be no up-water leaving the Goulburn-Murray irrigation district if there is any negative social impact on northern Victorian communities." Mr O’Sullivan said.
"Even now we have got a situation where the federal government understands that if any of the up-water was to leave Victoria, it would have a massive socio-economic impact on the regional communities of northern Victoria."
Mr O’Sullivan referred to a recent statement made by The Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, in which he wrote to the South Australian Minister for Water and the River Murray saying "if it was genuinely possible to put an additional 450 gigalitres down the river without hurting people, then none of us would have a problem with it. The reality is that it will."
"Under the commonwealth legislation, that up-water cannot be taken if there is a negative social impact, and clearly there would be if any of that water was to be taken away.
"What I would really like to see is for the Minister for Water in Victoria to follow the lead of Barnaby Joyce and follow the lead of Peter Walsh when he was the Minister for Water and ensure that that water does not go to South Australia, because it would have a detrimental impact on our communities.
"If any of that water was to leave the district, it would have a very detrimental impact, and that is why I would like to see the Minister for Water here in Victoria stick to her guns and stick to the guns that Peter Walsh has already established in terms of looking after the water here in Victoria and making sure none of it goes to South Australia.
"Water is wealth for regional communities. It creates jobs right throughout the northern part of Victoria, and all of those communities up there in northern Victoria are based on the back of agriculture."