Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the announcement by the Minister today that irrigators will have first rights to only two gigalitres - of a six gigalitre Mitchell River winter flow allocation to be released - is not what they were promised.
“We have known for some time that there was six gigalitres of winter flow available to be allocated and the understanding has always been across previous governments that when this was released, the irrigators would have first opportunity to secure as much of this right as they sought.
“I have no issue over Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation receiving an allocation, my concern sits with the irrigators only having first option on just two gigalitres, rather than the six they have been anticipating,” said Mr Bull.
“What has not been made clear by the Minister, but I have since had confirmed, is that in the two gigalitres that will be released to the market soon will be part of an auction process for irrigators only; however the remaining two gigalitres to be released next year will not be confined to irrigators only, but for the highest bidder in the wider marketplace.
“The intention all along has been the irrigators would have first access and then any surplus will go to the open market – this was a stance I supported - but the Minister seems to have abandoned this.
“What I would have liked to have seen was the full balance of the allocation outside what has been made available to GLaWAC to have been first offered to irrigators before any remaining allocation was to be offered to the open market,” said Mr Bull.
Friday, November 13, 2020