Water Catchment Management Authority

Adjournment

20 August 2015

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority constraint management strategy

Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) — My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water. It concerns the constraint management strategy that the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is preparing for the upper Goulburn River as part of the Murray‑Darling Basin plan. The action I seek is for the minister to intervene in this process to ensure that the Goulburn Broken CMA does the work it is supposed to do in preparing the strategy, in particular by providing factual information to the upper Goulburn landholders as it carries out its so‑called community consultation.

The Goulburn Broken CMA is proposing environmental flowrates of 20 000 megalitres per day at Molesworth in the upper Goulburn River where the river channel capacity of the river is approximately 9500 megalitres per day. The proposed increase in flowrates will lead to the flooding of high‑value agricultural land on the fertile river flats at Molesworth and will restrict access to many properties downstream. There has been no cost‑benefit analysis or socio‑economic impact study on this proposed flooding of private land. A property by property assessment was supposed to be undertaken with regard to landholder impacts and mitigation options, but this has not been done. The Goulburn Broken CMA is stating that there is insufficient time and insufficient money for this to take place, and I am afraid that is just not good enough. It is now proposing to do only two to three case studies of farms and two to three specialist case studies — that is, trout farms and caravan parks.

As I said, the minister needs to intervene to make sure that what was originally planned is actually done. That the Goulburn Broken CMA has left it too late to start this process is not good enough and should not be an excuse. The landholders should not have to suffer the uncertainty of increased flood risk to their businesses in the future. They deserve better from the CMA and from the Victorian government, and I ask the minister to personally intervene to make sure these injustices are corrected.

 

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