The Nationals WA agriculture spokesperson Colin de Grussa MLC has congratulated the Minister for Water for finally realising water security in the regions is an important issue and funding three water supply projects.
Mr de Grussa said today’s announcement of $210,000 for projects in the Shires of Kulin, Dumbleyung and Ravensthorpe was an important first step.
“The Nationals have been calling for improvements to water infrastructure in regional WA since March,” Mr de Grussa said.
“I’m pleased to see the State Government are finally supporting farming communities who have been impacted by severe water deficiencies for many months, but they’ve still got a long way to go.”
Mr de Grussa called on the Water Minister to reinstate the Royalties for Regions funded Farm Water Rebate Scheme – a program which was axed by the Labor Government in 2018.
“Farmers are calling for this important scheme to be reinstated so they can better improve their own water supplies, therefore reducing their reliance on Government supplies,” Mr de Grussa said.
“When the Minister scrapped the Rebate Scheme in 2018 he couldn’t outline any overarching strategy to address water shortages, and as things have got tougher for our farmers, he’s continually failed to support the industry.
“We will continue to seek answers from him as to what immediate support he will provide, and what long-term plans he has – if any – to ensure regional communities can be made drought resilient.”
Water spokesperson Jacqui Boydell MLC said the management of the water portfolio had been a total shambles.
“Under the Minister for Water’s leadership, regional WA has experienced mean-spirited water price increases, water standpipes being shut down without notice, and still no strategy to support struggling farmers with incredibly dry conditions,” Ms Boydell said.
“It’s a pity the Premier didn’t take the opportunity to strip the Minister of the water portfolio when he dumped him as Minister for Fisheries earlier this week.”