Daniel Andrews is ignoring the enormous stress fixed water charges are placing on irrigators within the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID).
Farmers have been calling for assistance on fixed water charges or direct relief on council rates for more than 12 months, but the State Government’s drought assistance package doesn’t deliver either.
Farmers are paying thousands of dollars in fixed costs, whether they can access water or not.
A review into fixed water charges carried out by the Andrews Government has failed to provide meaningful solutions for those faced with the ever-increasing cost of running a shrinking system.
Comments attributable to Shadow Water Minister Steph Ryan
For months we have been calling on Daniel Andrews to help farmers in northern Victoria by helping to meet fixed water charges, as occurred during the millennium drought.
Water is now trading at prices that exceed anything sustained during the millennium drought and is expected to rise even further.
Farmers are struggling under the weight of fixed charges – which they are required to pay whether they can access water or not.
If Daniel Andrews were serious he would step in and help northern Victoria’s irrigators by helping to meet the cost of fixed water charges and providing direct council rate relief.
The Andrews Government has been saying for months that it was considering further measures to help drought-affected farmers, only to turn up with an underwhelming package that fails to deliver the genuine support farmers have been calling for.