Hot on the heels of a damning report from the Auditor General that highlighted major deficiencies in the Government’s water resource management practises and poor community consultation, the Premier has today announced a review of the State’s irrigation industry with no indication of terms of reference, funding streams or consultation processes.
The arrogance of the Premier seems to have no limits.
Surely if the Auditor General says that the Government has some pretty intense homework to do in relation to water issues, the Premier should take heed.
WAFarmers has said repeatedly that the State Water Strategy is a sham, particularly in relation to rural and regional Western Australians as the limited consultation that was undertaken outside of Perth was forgone in the finalisation of the strategy.
The Auditor General’s report has reinforced WAFarmers position.
Today’s announcement makes no reference to consulting with irrigated farmers as part of the review makes unfounded sweeping statements as to projected water usage in the irrigation sector and smacks of patronage.
The Premier has a "do as I say, not as I do" attitude towards farmers.
Water is just one issue of late where WAFarmers has had cause to question the Government’s intent towards agriculture in general and WAFarmers members are heartily sick of it.
While the Premier’s review will look at possible future locations for irrigated agriculture, WAFarmers members would welcome the opportunity to look at future locations for this Government.
WAFarmers, together with several other industry representative bodies and Local Governments, is finalising arrangements for an industry response to the State Water Strategy by way of a Regional Water Summit to be held in Nannup on December 11.
Government representatives will be invited to attend the summit and I would urge them to do so.
A day in the country with the blinkers off, listening
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