Member for Roe Peter Rundle has called the recent decision by Water Corp to close standpipes in Roe with no notice “completely avoidable”.
In January Water Corporation closed up to 80 per cent of standpipes in the Shires of Lake Grace and Kulin, with no notice to the community’s affected, leaving farmers unable to secure water to service their livestock.
Mr Rundle expressed his concern in Parliament today, saying there was no logical excuse from the Minister for Water for this action.
“Water Corp claims that the intense demand from farmers was compromising local drinking water supply, however this situation should have been identified months ago,” Mr Rundle said.
“It was known that there were low local water storage levels, and that summer would result in low rainfall, so there is no excuse to not be prepared.
“Farmers are innovative and self-sufficient operators, but when their dams dry up through no fault of their own, they need to draw on Government supplies to service their livestock.”
With no consultation regarding the closure of standpipes, local governments were forced to utilise their bushfire emergency SMS system to notify farmers.
Mr Rundle said while he fully appreciated that Water Corp needed to provide a local drinking water supply, this situation should have been avoidable.
“When in government The Nationals WA introduced the Farm Water Rebate Scheme, which supported farmers through subsidies to upgrade their own supplies of water, therefore reducing their need to access Government supplies.
“Logically, one would think decreasing the reliance on Government water supplies would increase the precious water available for other uses, but instead the Minister for Water thought it appropriate to demolish this scheme.
“I know there are water storage facilities in the region that Water Corp aren’t using, and the Minister needs to tell the community why.”