Serious questions have been raised about the Malinauskas Labor Government’s management of River Murray levees following the overtopping and breaching of six Lower Murray levees early Friday morning.
Persistent strong winds raised river levels to about 1.3 metres on Thursday night.
At least six breaches occurred because repair work on the levee bank system was ignored.
Shadow Minister for Water Resources and the River Murray, Nicola Centofanti, said Peter Malinauskas must order an urgent inspection of all levees.
“The breached levees are a massive Malinauskas Labor Government failure and now we have huge concerns other areas could be at risk,” Dr Centofanti said.
“We know the river has been rising, so why haven’t these levees been properly maintained to ensure farmers and their crops are protected from ruin.
“Peter Malinauskas must focus on our regions for once and order an urgent audit of all levees to ensure they are sound and those that have been compromised must be reinforced.”
Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick described the levee breaches as an “absolute disaster for famers along the River Murray”.
“There are many farmers out there still recovering from the recent flood event and now, to have their freshly sown pastures swamped again, is a massive kick in the guts,” he said.
“The levees along the River Murray should not be failing when the river is only at 0.85 metres, even with strong wind gusts.
“We urgently need to get these levees to the height they were pre-flood and ensure they can sustain flows of 180gl per day so that breaches don’t repeat. Labor’s Susan Close should be all over this but, as usual, is missing in action when there’s work to be done.”
Member for Chaffey, Tim Whetstone, said there have been reports of farmers being ignored by the Malinauskas Labor Government after raising concerns about the strength of the levee bank system.
“Local farmers know these areas like the back of their hand, so when they say something isn’t right, Peter Malinauskas and Susan Close must put the arrogance aside and listen,” Mr Whetstone said.
“Peter Malinauskas and Susan Close need to stop making excuses about repairing and strengthening levee banks and instead look at ways to assist irrigators along the Lower Murray.
“This is just another reason why the Liberal Party’s Parliamentary Inquiry into the flood event is so crucial and why River communities are backing it in. Situations like this must be avoided in the future.”