Uncertain start to water year for irrigators

Uncertain start to water year for irrigators

The State Liberals are deeply concerned that South Australian irrigators will start the 2016-17 water year on July 1 with just 36 per cent of their water allocation– the lowest opening allocation announcement since 2010-11.

Acting Shadow Minister for Water and River Murray Tim Whetstone said the minimum opening allocation for holders of irrigation entitlements was lower than expected and will impact heavily on communities all along the river.

The State Liberals are deeply concerned that South Australian irrigators will start the 2016-17 water year on July 1 with just 36 per cent of their water allocation– the lowest opening allocation announcement since 2010-11.

Acting Shadow Minister for Water and River Murray Tim Whetstone said the minimum opening allocation for holders of irrigation entitlements was lower than expected and will impact heavily on communities all along the river.

“I’ll be requesting advice from the Minister as to just how the State Government has arrived at such a low opening water allocation for 2016/17 and what contingency plans are in place to ensure allocations are more positive as the year progresses,” Mr Whetstone said.

“Irrigators will need to be making decisions now as to how they are going to ensure the ongoing viability of their permanent plantings.
“The state’s food producers are already dealing with skyrocketing electricity prices, punishing state taxes and now they are facing a dramatic reduction in their water entitlements.

“I’m concerned that if the drop in water allocations continues throughout 2016/17, many local producers will find it hard to survive in the industry at a time when the state’s economy is increasingly reliant upon them.

“The loss of more food producers would be felt throughout South Australia, potentially leading to higher food prices and increasing unemployment in a state already suffering the highest unemployment in the nation.”

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