Thursday 14 June 2018
Labor’s delayed water review hurting development in nth Vic
The Andrews Labor Government’s review of delivery shares is yet to even begin, almost two years after it was first promised.
Water Minister Lisa Neville was asked about the status of the review while being questioned at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) yesterday.
Delivery shares, or the entitlement to have water delivered to land in an irrigation area, are tied to land which means the entitlement stays with a property when it is bought or sold.
Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan said irrigators had been asking about the status of the review for months.
“Daniel Andrews’ Water Minister promised a review of delivery shares in October 2016,” Ms Ryan said.
“It’s pretty clear that Lisa Neville has thrown the whole issue in the too hard basket.
“It’s been almost two years and the review’s terms of reference, the process and the people appointed to undertake it are a mystery.
“Given we are now five months from a state election and Labor hasn’t even started the process, it’s highly unlikely any meaningful changes are going to be made.”
Labor has no strategy to ensure irrigation areas in northern Victoria remained affordable and attractive to new businesses.
Ms Ryan said communities had expressed concern that delivery shares were acting as a handbrake on development in northern Victoria’s irrigation districts.
“Delivery shares are becoming a disincentive to invest in northern Victoria, particularly as the cost of running the Goulburn Murray irrigation district increases.”