With the drought front and centre for rural and regional communities it would surprise most Queenslanders that we have by no means run out of water – in fact our dams are quite full and sitting idle ready to be used.
Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Dale Last said the situation with full dams not going to those that need it most was simply not good enough and urgently needed to be addressed.
"Queensland's regional dams and irrigation schemes remain well stocked with an impressive 103 per cent* available to meet existing water entitlements across the state," said Mr. Last.
"In 2017-18, the Labor State Government's regional water provider SunWater only delivered 55 per cent* of the water entitlements and 54 per cent the year before** – in what were both particularly dry years.
"What's going on here? Why isn't our available water being used by our drought affected farmers and communities?
"Does Labor Natural Resource Minister Anthony Lynham think it appropriate that potentially productive water languishes in our dams evaporating while our drought affected farmers continue to suffer?"
Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett was in no doubt over why the water was going to waste in our dams even during this drought – the eye wateringly high costs of electricity.
"Farmers and irrigators can't afford to pump water under the Labor government's sky high electricity prices," Mr. Perrett said.
"We know that when it comes to agricultural production more water means more production resulting in jobs and prosperity for rural and regional communities – especially during times of drought.
"In the end it's the local communities that lose out from less water from the unsustainably high electricity prices.
"It's time for this Labor Government to step up and take action on ensuring our water is being used productively to grow the food and fibre that supports rural and regional Queensland.
"The Liberal National Party has committed to ending the electricity divide between regional Queensland and the Southeast corner by delivering affordable and reliable electricity for households and businesses no matter what your postcode."
*SunWater 2017-18 Annual Report page 87: http://www.sunwater.com.au/about-sunwater/publication-scheme/our-reports/annual-reports
**SunWater 2016-17 Annual report page 85: http://www.sunwater.com.au/about-sunwater/publication-scheme/our-reports/annual-reports