News

Get rid of carryover water

By Geoff Adams

In reading John Pettigrew's opinion (Country News, December 24), as usual some of the his opinions seem to contradict themselves.

A lot of these environmental flows do not replicate natural flows.

Red gums to not need regular flooding, more trees die from too much water than not enough. Red gums are not a forest tree, they are an open woodland tree, which was that he Barmah Forest used to be hundreds of years ago.

Taking timber cutters and grazing out of the Barmah Forest — Mr Pettigrew's GVEG and greenies were major players in that.

They said the area would be compensated by a huge influx of tourists; now the tracks have become impassable and overgrown and a hazard for emergency services.

I have lived and farmed on the Murray River since 1993 and since the 2016 floods the flows down the river are certainly not natural. They have continually run at minor flood level and above.

So, Mr Pettigrew, they are the facts.

In reply to Bill Baxter's letter (Country News, December 24), I believe that carryover is corrupt and it is creating the haves and have-nots in irrigators.

I have been an irrigator since 1968 and still am. That was the time when all irrigators were equal. If Hume Dam was 60 per cent full and Dartmouth the same we were guaranteed 100 per cent allocation and some sales.

Now the Hume can be 80 per cent full and Dartmouth 60 per cent and we get zero per cent to 30 per cent allocation.

Hmm, I don't get it.

Now, since water has become separated from land and has become a tradeable commodity (thanks to Mr Howard and Mr Turnbull) you have big private investors sitting on water and manipulating the price so if there was no carryover they would have to put it on the market.

Mr Baxter said he has paid for the water so he should still be able to have it. Irrigators have always had to pay for their allocation whether they got an allocation or not.

So that all the water carryover is given equally as an allocation the next season, stopping the haves and the have-nots.

If the Hume Dam is near empty at the end of this season and environment has carryover and irrigators, does that mean we are carrying against next year's inflows? That is not possible.

Where is the accountability for the environmental water. They don't have meters, all the water the irrigators have is metered.

That is why I believe carryover must go. Fair for all.

John Hay

Koonoomoo