The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s decision to qualify stock and domestic water on the Broken System and initiate a review into its future management.
VFF Water Council Chair Richard Anderson said “farmers on the Broken are doing it really tough on a zero allocation, this announcement will now allow them to water their stock”.
The VFF facilitated meetings with the Victorian Department and Goulburn Murray Water in July this year to ensure Broken irrigators could express their concern about impacts on the Broken System following the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan.
“The reliability of the Broken System has been affected since Lake Mokoan’s removal.”
“Irrigators are now totally reliant on Lake Nillahcootie which is a much smaller storage and sits at the top of the System, meaning downstream inflows are not counted towards allocations,” Mr Anderson said.
The VFF has supported Broken irrigator’s calls to initiate a review into the System, raising this directly with Water Minister Lisa Neville last month.
Analysis completed by the VFF shows that since the removal of Lake Mokoan, Broken irrigators have received much lower allocations at the start of the irrigation season compared to the Murray and Goulburn Systems.
“Ensuring irrigation allocation announcements are made as early as possible is critical to farmers optimising their Spring growth”, said Mr Anderson.
“We are pleased the Water Minister has listened to the VFF and Broken irrigators; now we all need to work together to explore options on how to improve the Broken System into the future”.
The VFF will work with Government and local irrigators to ensure a robust review framework is established with significant community consultation.
Richard Anderson, VFF Water Chair, 0428 832 210
Grady Powell, VFF Stakeholder Policy and Advocacy Manager, 0456 960 243