Sheed calls for Victorian Government to investigate claims about Lower Lakes

By Rodney Woods

State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed has called on the Victorian Government to vigorously investigate claims made by Professor Peter Gell that the South Australian Lower Lakes were not freshwater but estaurine prior to human intervention.

Ms Sheed has accused South Australia of providing "incorrect science" which the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is based on.

“What now appears to be the case is that the whole of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan was based on incorrect science provided by South Australia,” Ms Sheed said.

“What is clear is that Federal Water Minister David Littleproud will do nothing to investigate this issue.

"So far as he is concerned the plan has to be delivered in full and on time.

"While he is busy looking after his constituents in the northern basin he will not consider any action to relieve the enormous stress being felt by farmers in the southern basin.

"It is now up to the Victorian Government to urgently investigate the issues raised by Professor Gell."

Ms Sheed said if Prof Gell's claims were true, water should be returned to farmers.

“If Professor Gell’s proposition is found to be correct then the target of 2750Gl to be recovered should be reset so that water is returned to our farmers in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District.”

Water Minister Lisa Neville said last month she had taken the claims to her federal counterpart.

“My office has raised this issue with Minister Littleproud’s office and we are already calling on the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to examine issues of deliverability, and within that context, the MDBA should look at the issue of the Lower Lakes,” Ms Neville said.

Ms Sheed said she was sceptical the MDBA or the Federal Minister would provide an adequate response.