Opinion

Water report defended

By Country News

Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan sounded a timely warning in the April 21 edition of Country News when she highlighted a threat to Victorian irrigators being brought about by pressure from some quarters to re-jig water allocations between the states.

As Ms Ryan pointed out, the Victorian water allocation method is based on security whereas NSW has gone for yield.

Both are viable options but it has to be one or the other. Yield or security. You cannot have both.

The Victorian system is designed to deliver 100 per cent allocation of high security entitlement in 97 years out of 100.

Despite declining catchment inflows, highlighted in the Keelty report, it has more or less delivered on that.

The NSW system delivers abundant water in good seasons but scarcity in dry years.

Those letter writers in the April 21 edition, who rushed to condemn the Keelty report before the ink was even dry, would have been better advised to study the report in detail.

It provides a very clear and concise overview of the varying state allocation regimes and explains why Riverina irrigators have a nil allocation this year, yet Victorian Murray irrigators are enjoying 66 per cent, and those on the Goulburn, a bit more.

As Mr Keelty discovered, there is gross misunderstanding and misinformation in the community about water issues.

This finding was amply demonstrated by the batch of letters in the April 21 edition of Country News.

— Bill Baxter, Nagambie