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State Liberals to provide irrigators with forward planning on allocations

The State Liberals will provide irrigators with projected water availability advice under probability scenarios throughout the water year, if elected to government in 2018.

To assist irrigators in the Riverland and across South Australia to plan with more certainty, the State Liberals will provide an indicative water availability outlook as is currently the practice in New South Wales and Victoria.

Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said irrigators are making business decisions about the water year before it even starts so it is vital they have the best information available to base those decision upon.

“The overwhelming feedback from irrigators in the Riverland is that South Australians need more information to plan ahead, invest in their businesses and continue to grow the economy and create jobs,” Mr Whetstone said.

“With South Australia suffering the highest unemployment in the nation it is critical that the Weatherill Government properly supports job creating industries.

“Under a Liberal Government in South Australia, irrigators will be provided with the probability for future water availability to allow them to plan ahead under different scenarios.

“It’s very important irrigators are provided with as much information as possible. The State Government should be fully aware of long term projected inflows, climate impacts and storages upstream and yet is unwilling to provide a forward forecast.

“Particularly in dry times, irrigators must decide whether they can afford to lease water and we want to give them the tools to make an informed decision at the start of the water year rather than waiting for the State Government to make announcements each fortnight.

“As part of our 2036 policy manifesto, we committed to growing the SA economy and strengthening our communities and this policy does exactly that by ensuring our regional areas can plan ahead to continue as a major driver of our economy.

“South Australia needs regional industries to thrive, create jobs and boost our economy, and the Riverland is a key engine room for our state’s exports.”