National’s Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie says water
security throughout the Indi region is vital and will be protected under the
leadership of the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
Senator McKenzie said she strongly supported comments from Mr
Joyce regarding possible extra environmental flows as part of the
Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
“The Deputy Prime Minister has made the point that under the
legislative requirements of the Basin Plan, the 450 GL of additional environmental
water on top of the 2750 GL target can only be delivered in ways that deliver
positive or neutral socio-economic outcomes.
“Communities across the Basin have repeatedly expressed concerns
that this may not be possible.
“North Eastern Victoria will be badly affected if South Australia
rides roughshod over areas that rely on water to drive agricultural production
and regional economies.
“As the Deputy Prime Minister has repeatedly pointed out, acquiring that amount of water, more than the volume of Sydney Harbour, cannot happen if it negatively affects areas like
“The bottom line in all of this is the jobs that keep our regional
“It is essential that jobs in regional areas are protected; jobs
in Benalla, jobs in Wangaratta, in Wodonga, Corryong, Tallangatta, in Eildon or
in Towong, jobs are essential to a happy, thriving community.
“In these areas and in many others, water is wealth and without
it, towns and communities will be devastated and will be stymied in their
ability to grow and develop into the future.
Senator McKenzie said the Federal Government has already delivered
1986 GL of water back to the environment under the Basin Plan and is on track
to deliver the 2750 GL Plan as required by 2019.
“The bulk of the remaining gap is to be offset via projects that
can deliver environmentally equivalent outcomes with less water, which benefits
the environment but allows more water to stay in production,” Senator McKenzie