The roll-out of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, the impact of electricity prices on irrigators, water allocation planning and Natural Resources Management levies will be amongst the key topics discussed during a tour of the Riverland by Shadow Minister for Environment David Speirs.

Hosted by the Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone, Mr Speirs will meet with key stakeholders, in relation to water security and irrigation needs, as well as discussing environmental projects, on June 28.

Mr Speirs, whose shadow portfolio corresponds to the ministerial responsibilities of Water and the River Murray and Environment, is looking forward to listening to the Riverland community as policy development continues towards the 2018 South Australian election.

“The River Murray is the lifeblood of the Riverland and thousands of irrigators rely on a secure water supply to grow the produce that is served on tables not only in the region, but across the state, nation and the world,” Mr Speirs said. 

“However, under the Weatherill Labor Government, these food producers are facing significant challenges in growing and expanding their businesses at every turn. 

“We have seen rising NRM levies, skyrocketing power prices and huge increases to the Emergency Services Levy.

“During this visit, I’ll be hearing from a number of key stakeholders and the community about ways we can support growers, instead of the current approach of impeding progress with red tape.” 

Mr Whetstone said water security continues to be one of the most important issues facing the people of the Riverland. 

“The tour will help Mr Speirs gain a further understanding of issues faced by irrigators and the communities they live in,” Mr Whetstone said.

“Water security is integral to the sustainability and viability of the Riverland both environmentally and economically. We need to see more support and recognition for the food producers and communities, who are the economic drivers of this state, particularly with the social impacts from the roll-out of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.” 

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