Transcript: Doorstop, Mitiamo - Mitiamo Pipeline, 11 April 2019
Subjects: Mitiamo Pipeline
It’s amazing to be here today with the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and also Anne Webster the Candidate for Mallee. This project has been possibly 10 years, if not more in the advocacy stage, we have had these guys, Neil Allen and his crew have been coming to the Victorian Parliament when we were in that space and now the Federal Parliament to find the funding, one way or another to bring this from 85 thousand hectares into another degree of productivity, so to be able to find 14 million, 14 and a half million dollars from the Federal Government to make the Mitiamo Pipeline a reality.
It’s going to not only be great for the region of Nicholls going forward, but also for Anne Webster and the electorate that she wants to represent, the seat of Mallee, so it is great for the MPs to actually be here and to make these announcements, but again a huge thanks has to go to Andrew Broad who previously did an enormous amount of work in this space but also Michael McCormack the Deputy Prime Minister who has made this funding available.
It’s great to be able to talk about these things. It’s great to say what a fantastic project these types of projects are but The National Party have got runs on the board, we funded the Weatherburn Pipeline at the last election and that’s now been built and now we have got the funding, the $14.5 million for the Mitiamo Pipeline. It’s a fantastic project and will lead to incredible productivity gains for this region. It’s the locals who will truly know the benefit of what we have announced here today.
And now to also to open up this region into a whole range of other productivity opportunities, so whether intensive agriculture, piggeries, poultry and a whole other range of opportunities are now going to be available due the founding that Michael McCormack has been able to bring forward. So with that, I would like to hand over to Michael and again thank him for what he has been able to announce with this funding.
Well the Mitiamo Pipeline project is a very significant one, it provides water security, it provides the hope that investors want to be able to put into their properties. 200 farmers are going be able to take advantage of this across 80,000 hectares and this is all made possible because of The Nationals in government.
Anne Webster, she knows how important this is, as does Damian Drum. Two Nationals that have fought hard for their communities, made sure that this investment was possible. $14.5 million, a real investment in the water security for this area and providing real hope for farmers going forward.
Fantastic. They have been campaigning for something like this for about 10 years, what sort of, why now?
Well it’s important because we have $500 billion on the table, half a billion dollars for water infrastructure. I want to as the Deputy Prime Minister, as the Minister for infrastructure, for Regional Development and for Transport, I want to make sure we’ve got the investment down there to build more dams, to heighten, lengthen and strengthen weirs, to make sure that if there is a pipeline project there that stacks up, the business case says it’s a goer, then I want to invest in it and that’s what the Nationals in government do. We invest in water infrastructure projects. Water is our most important resource in this country, make no mistake. We can build on our $60 billion agricultural sector, we can make sure that we can take advantage of the markets that have been opened up through the efforts of Mark Coulton, our Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment another Nationals’ person in Government, we can take advantage of that and we can do it but we just need water.
Driving through the area to Mitiamo today, did you see how important and how needed it is?
Oh absolutely look it looks a lot like my area of the Riverina in South West NSW, it’s very dry. Our hearts go out to our drought-stricken farmers, but we can do more and we will do more. We’ve already put down on the table $7.2 billion dollars as far as drought assistance is concerned but it will rain again and when it does rain, we need to be able to store that rain, that’s why we have been half a billion dollars on the table for water infrastructure. That’s why The Nationals in Government are investing in these sorts of projects. This pipeline is going to make such a difference. A pipeline, yes for water infrastructure but it’s a pipeline of hope, a pipeline of investment for water security for the future.
Would you like to say something as well?
I welcome the announcement today, it’s a very exciting announcement for both Mallee and Murray and I look forward to that infrastructure being built and some of the relief for families, for households and of course for our agricultural sector.