Labor is playing politics with water security in western Victoria in an effort to win votes in an election year, says Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan.
It was revealedthis week that the Andrews Government had failed to submit an application to the Federal Government to fund the East Grampians Water Supply Project, which will connect rural farms and properties with a secure supply of water.
Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan said if the Andrews Government was serious about securing water for East Grampians communities, it would have sought the funds needed from the Federal Government.
“The Andrews Labor Government had every opportunity to ensure this project would be fully funded, but Lisa Neville hasn’t even made an application to the Federal Government,” Ms Ryan said.
“This project is vital to improved water security for East Grampians communities and I know the Andrews Government’s failure to even submit the project for funding will be a serious blow.”
The business case for construction of an East Grampians rural pipeline was completed by Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water last year.
The business case found 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.
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said the local community had worked hard to ensure a more secure water supply to the region.
“Funding for this project should have been on Labor’s radar long before now and it’s only been since the strong community campaign that the Andrews Labor Government have taken this seriously,” Ms Kealy said.
“Landowners have been carting water for stock and crop spraying which is both expensive and time consuming and the critical water shortage has added pressure to firefighting and routine activities such as roadside burns.
“A secure water supply will help manage risk of water shortage, provide a host of opportunities for business growth in intensive farming opportunities such as poultry and piggeries and create economic growth and local jobs.”
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