The NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey is so under the thumb of big corporate irrigators that she is prepared to rob downstream communities along the Darling, including Wilcannia and Menindee, by allowing irrigators to harvest floodwaters and pump from the Namoi, the Peel, the Gwydir and the Barwon rivers.
“Water Minister Melinda Pavey seems to have been brought to heel by powerful irrigator interests in NSW in recent days,” said Greens MP Cate Faehrmann and Healthy Rivers spokesperson.
“Just a few days ago she was berating the Qld Government for allowing farmers to pump water and appearing to champion the needs of downstream communities to benefit from recent heavy rains.
“Now the Minister has hung them out to dry after pressure from her big irrigator mates in the north west of NSW. She has even concocted the ridiculous excuse that this was needed to pump the first flow to stop flood waters ‘damaging infrastructure’.
“Our rivers have been hit by a ‘triple whammy’ of drought, fires and flood that has placed enormous strain on river ecosystems and potentially driven some fish and even the platypus to extinction. Now is the time to be focusing on ensuring town water supplies are topped up and environmental flows are restored, not propping up unsustainable industries.
“This is yet more proof that the Nationals can never be trusted with the water portfolio because they are too in bed with their big irrigator mates.
“It’s a disgrace that entire towns and ecosystems are going to be left dry while corporate irrigators reap the rewards of this weekend's rains. It's pretty clear who the National Party really works for, and it’s definitely not regional communities,” said Ms Faehrmann.
Contact: Jacob Miller 0428 837 292