Water move to benefit Riverina: McCormack

RESPONSIBILITY for water policy will be moved from the Environment to the Agriculture portfolios under the agreement struck between The Nationals and new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, this week.

“This is great news for the irrigators and communities of the Riverina,” Nationals’ MP Michael McCormack said.

“The Nationals in Government have really delivered for irrigators. We have capped water buybacks at 1500 gigalitres and will now ensure a triple-bottom-line approach – that social, economic and environmental impacts are considered in everything to do with water policy.”

Mr McCormack said Labor’s criticism of the move shows the lack of understanding of water and Basin communities continues.

“In the past few days we have seen that Labor hasn’t changed its tune at all.

“Labor MPs continue to denigrate farmers and show complete contempt for those who grow our food and fibre, their economies and communities,” Mr McCormack said.

“In contrast, the new Prime Minister yesterday showed why The Nationals in Government will always back farmers.

“In answering a question from Labor about water policy, Malcolm Turnbull said what we in the Riverina know too well: that there is no-one who understands the need for efficient and sustainable use of water more than a farmer,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Nationals and I have always stood up for farmers and we will continue to do so with water in its back in its appropriate place inside the Agriculture portfolio.”

Mr McCormack supported a motion calling for water policy to move into the Agriculture portfolio at The Nationals’ Federal Conference last weekend. The motion passed unanimously.

Cristy Houghton