Water

Big Buffalo needed for food security, says northern Victorian MP

By Rodney Woods

State Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy says the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security further highlights the need for an expansion of Lake Buffalo — Big Buffalo — to be built.

Mr McCurdy said now was the time to focus on the importance of more water storages to address the issue.

“As a result of coronavirus, Australia now knows what it’s like for our food supply to be vulnerable as our supermarkets struggle to keep up with demand,” Mr McCurdy said.

“We can grow more food if we have more water security.

“It’s time to secure our future.

“Build Big Buffalo, let’s keep Australia self-sufficient.”

Mr McCurdy said while the Big Buffalo project would take time to engineer and develop, now was the time to agree that Big Buffalo must be built.

“As I have continued to state, we have an ideal opportunity to refer the Big Buffalo project to the Federal Government’s new National Water Grid Authority for investigation,” he said.

“Victorian Labor has flatly refused, but now, more than ever, I call on the Andrews Government to urgently reverse its shortsighted refusal.

“Daniel Andrews must understand that food security into the future is now the number one priority alongside personal health.

“He must stop dodging the question and start facing the facts: we need more water security.”

Key points of the Liberal-Nationals’ call to refer the possible expansion of Lake Buffalo and its connection to Lake Nillahcootie via a pipeline, to the new national water grid authority for investigation include:

● The land around Lake Buffalo was always set aside for a future project to create Big Buffalo;

● Communities are crying out for greater water security and reliability, which Big Buffalo could deliver;

● Big Buffalo could help reduce reliance on downstream lakes, where there are huge evaporative losses every year and Aboriginal artefacts are being disturbed; and

● The Federal Government has $3.5 billion on the table for water investments and the Victorian Government must secure the state's fair share.