Malcolm Turnbull and Steph Ryan have again failed irrigation communities across the state – with no funding for water infrastructure projects in Victoria in the Federal Budget.
Victoria is seeking $72 million across five important projects, but the Federal Government has not funded a single Victorian water infrastructure project, despite providing hundreds of millions of dollars for water projects in other states, including $190 million in Queensland and $140 million in Western Australia.
It’s proof Malcolm Turnbull cares more about funding marginal seats than water security for Victorian communities.
The following projects haven’t received federal funding:
- The East Grampians Pipeline Project – helping guard against the impacts of future droughts and giving local farmers more certainty
- The Mitiamo and District Reticulated Water Supply Project – providing water security, efficiency and reducing costs for farmers that have had to rely on carting their own water. The Labor Government last week announced $10 million in funding towards the project
- The Werribee and Bacchus Marsh irrigation districts upgrades – an area which produces a large percentage of Melbourne’s fresh vegetables on the outskirts of the city. Victoria has provided $14.5 million.
- The Coldstream Recycled Water Project – a critical project for the Yarra Valley
- Sunraysia Modernisation Project 2 (SMP2) – vital to supporting the growth of irrigated agriculture and jobs in north-west Victoria.
Shadow Water Spokesperson Steph Ryan told landholders in March that she had lobbied Federal Ministers to fund the East Grampians project, last week Louise Staley said the project was “vital to drought-proofing the Grampians Region.”
But Ms Ryan, Ms Staley and the rest of the Liberal and National Party at both state and federal levels have failed to deliver the long-awaited water security these regions need.
Despite no support from the Federal Government, the Labor Government will get on with stage one of the East Grampians Pipeline Project, injecting millions of dollars into the local economy and delivering vital water security.
The Labor Government submitted the business case to the Commonwealth for the East Grampians project in February and last week provided Victoria’s $32 million share of the $85 million project in the Victorian Budget.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“The Federal Budget does not provide a cent for water infrastructure in Victoria, putting these projects— and the jobs and economic activity they would have brought to our regions — at risk. “
“Steph Ryan is out of excuses — she needs to finally admit she simply can’t deliver for regional Victoria and is out of her depth when it comes to fighting for irrigation communities in Victoria.”
Quote attributable to the Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“How can the Turnbull Government claim to stand up for regional Victoria, yet fail to find a cent for vital investments in water security that would benefit our farmers who rely on it.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020