MPs discuss water security as dam access is cut off
WITH water levels low, water security is vital for drought-affected farmers.
This need was made clear to Flynn member Ken O'Dowd, Victorian Senator Bridget McKenzie and Nanango member Deb Frecklington after a tour of the Flynn electorate in the South and North Burnett, on September 7.
They met up with farmers who rely on the irrigated water from Boondooma Dam, which is currently at less than 35 per cent capacity.
Access for the Burnett farmers was cut off late last week, as the dam level dropped below 70,000 megalitres.
Ms McKenzie said they told her the cut-off had a big impact.
"One farmer told me, 'our drought starts today, and it's got nothing to do with the weather'," she said.
Ms Frecklington said it was vitally important people had affordable access to water, and the catchments were used wisely.
"We need to be encouraging business, and one of the ways we can do that is making sure there's good, secure access to affordable water," she said.
Mr O'Dowd said Burnett farmers and businesses needed support.
"With water security, the North and South Burnett can produce so much more. We already have farmers with the right intelligence, equipment and knowledge to develop their farms further," he said.
Ms McKenzie said farmers should be given the opportunity to reach their potential.
"It'd be nice if the State Government could see this for what it is, instead of turning the water off," she said.
The latest federal drought package announcement, $72 million into water infrastructure, will go towards future proofing communities and businesses against the drought.