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Labor finally support Water for Food but is it too late?

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Questions asked by The Nationals in Parliament have revealed the State Government will finally commit support for two key projects under the Water for Food program created by the previous Liberal-National Government.

The Labor Government confirmed this week it had sought support from the Commonwealth for the Myalup-Wellington Dam Project and Southern Forrest Irrigation Scheme after dragging their heels for more than three months.

“It’s clear Labor’s priorities fall in the metropolitan area, given they were able to leverage Commonwealth funds for their Metronet project within weeks, yet have moved at a snail’s pace when securing funds for vital regional projects,” The
Nationals Leader Mia Davies said.

“We can only hope that Commonwealth funding is still on the table and hasn’t been allocated to priority projects in other states.
“What remains unclear is whether the funding is conditional on Commonwealth support, or if they have committed to the same level of funding.”

Ms Davies said the Premier continued to spruik job creation as his number one priority, yet it seemed that priority only applied within the Perth city limits.

“The Government has hit the go-slow button on Royalties for Regions projects that would accelerate job creation and economic growth, and these two Water for Food projects have enormous potential,” she said.

“These projects were approved by Cabinet last year after months of diligent work by numerous stakeholders.

“The Myalup-Wellington project has the potential to create jobs and foster sustainable economic diversification for communities across the South West, address the salinity in Wellington Dam and deliver an additional 10 gigalitres of potable water to the Water Corporation.

“Similarly, $19 million of Royalties for Regions funding was committed to partner with growers in the Manjimup and Pemberton region to deliver a new Irrigation Scheme. 

“We hope these projects have not been jeopardised by the Government’s lack of urgency or commitment.”