Sheed calls for more water

By Country News

State Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has called on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to support farmers who are struggling through extended dry conditions.

Ms Sheed met with Mr Andrews in August to discuss the worsening fodder shortage in northern Victoria, the lack of much-needed winter rain and sky-rocketing water prices.

‘‘Farmers in my electorate are becoming increasingly anxious about the extended dry conditions and what it will mean for their ability to grow fodder and feed their stock,’’ Ms Sheed said.

‘‘Not only have they been sending fodder north to support drought-stricken areas in Queensland and NSW and are now left with depleted storages for their own use, the lack of winter rain and a predicted dry spring means the current crops in the ground could fail.’’

Ms Sheed said while northern Victoria was not in drought, it was important to be ahead of any potential crisis situation.

She said many irrigators across the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District were reliant on the temporary water market and would benefit from additional water being made available so they could grow out the fodder crops in the ground to a harvestable level.

‘‘Too often governments wait to see what happens next rather than planning for what could be an imminent crisis,’’ Ms Sheed said.