Irrigators will be given the power to elect half of the board governing Goulburn Murray Water under a Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government.
Shadow Minister for Country Water Resources and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said rural water authorities would be forced to become more open and democratic under the Coalition.
“There is widespread concern in rural communities that those controlling the state’s rural water authorities have lost touch with their customers,” Mr Walsh said.
“Under a Coalition Government, the customers of Goulburn Murray Water will elect 50 per cent of the authority’s board.
“We will seek advice from the Victorian Electoral Commission as to the most appropriate way of implementing these reforms.”
Mr Walsh said the Coalition would also restore irrigators’ rights to directly elect Goulburn Murray Water’s customer service committees.
“A Coalition Government will give customer committees greater influence over matters relating to the services provided by the water authority,” Mr Walsh said.
“Our reforms will reinvigorate the water authority and ensure irrigators get the say that they deserve.
“Under Labor, these committees have been bullied and forced to sign a confidentiality agreement preventing them from speaking against government policy.
“The Boort-Pyramid water services committee was even sacked because it dared to challenge Labor’s decision to build the north-south pipeline and the rationalisation of irrigation infrastructure.
“Under a Coalition Government, these committees will again become a strong voice for irrigators,” Mr Walsh said.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
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