The Nationals Member for Shepparton District, Kim O’Keeffe, along with her National Party colleagues across regional Victoria, have successfully lobbied for the Victorian Government to continue to oppose water buybacks.
The Nationals have been assured by the Victorian Labor Party and Water Minister, Harriet Shing MP, that it will continue its opposition to harmful buybacks proposed by the Federal Government.
“The Victorian Water Minister acknowledged the destruction buybacks have on irrigation communities and has said she will continue to stand against buybacks in Victoria,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
‘Our community have seen firsthand the devastation buybacks can have. We are the food bowl of Australia and one of Australia’s largest agriculture regions, and the impact is far-reaching for the entire country.”
Water buybacks are a process where the Government buys water entitlements back from farmers, reducing the amount of water taken from the river system. This water can then be traded or used for the environment.
“Reducing the water available to farmers only drives the price of food up and takes away local jobs, hurting economic growth and passing costs onto consumers.
“The devastation buybacks have is well-documented, and I would ask that the Federal Water Minister listen to the Victorian Water Minister, as well as the local communities who will be so severely impacted, and consider the harm that buybacks will have, and the contributions Victoria has made in returning water to the environment.
“We have been fighting for our farmers and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan will have the biggest detrimental effect on Victoria should buybacks occur,” said Ms O’Keeffe.