New Dams for Towns and Cities
Fresh, clean water is crucial for everyday life and for recreation, industry and community needs. The only cost effective way to secure more water for our growing population is to build more dams. Prudent harvesting of rainfall into new dams will not disrupt the needs of our river environments.
We support the construction of new dams that will also enable us to expand our renewable hydropower.
Irrigation water is an essential input to ensure Australian food production and food security. Controls must be put in place so that ownership and trading in water does not undermine the fundamental purpose of water; which is for critical human needs, agricultural production, use in manufacturing and maintaining a natural environment. Trading of water does not fit the basic purpose of water ownership.
We want all owners of water, over 100 megalitres, to be easily and clearly identified on a publically listed Water Register. Without transparency of ownership, individuals, politicians, corporates, governments, government agencies, unions and others, could be hiding vested interests or bias in their discussions and dealings with water related issues.
We will review Carryover rules for irrigation water. We believe water should only be able to be carried over by “legitimate irrigators”, those that own sufficient land to match their permanent water ownership, and water authorities for critical human needs. The environment has never been able to carry over water in the past so it should not have this option beyond normal river management. Speculators have the option of selling water in one irrigation season or losing unsold water.
We will demand an immediate stop to the trade of high security irrigation water out of irrigation regions. We believe that the efficient and affordable use of irrigation delivery systems can only be maintained if sufficient water remains within each region.
The cost of running our irrigation systems must be shared against every megalitre of water that was originally attached to the irrigation system, not on properties that can be irrigated or that once were irrigated. This means that environmental water pays, irrigators pay, stock and domestic users pay and speculators pay. This is a fair approach since the irrigation network has allowed the trade of water so delivery costs must also be shared.
Environmental water must be utilised to mimic current and future rainfall patterns. Benefits must be real and measurable and not just offsetting the environmental benefits that were already achieved prior to the removal/rebranding of irrigation water into environmental water.
Any proposal to intentionally flood productive farmland and community assets will be removed from all water management strategies and legislation.
We will refute any proposals to unbundle the ownership of groundwater and groundwater licenses.
Food Safety / Food Security
We will ensure that our domestic food security and food safety are always considered as a priority when any changes to water policy are proposed.