Michelle Lensink

Water Allocation Plans

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question about the carryover of water.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: This is the first water year in which a number of water allocation plans have converted water to volumetric allocations, and I understand that there are issues in relation to carryover for the Eastern Mount Lofty/Western Mount Lofty and South-East Water Allocation Plans. Having been a particularly dry spring, a number of irrigators have already been required to use some of their entitlements. My questions for the minister are:

1. Is there any capacity for himself or the NRM boards to provide carryover for this year's water season?

2. Has he been approached?

3. Does he have an attitude on this particular matter?

The PRESIDENT: Minister.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) (14:20 :40): I thank the honourable member for her most important question. I can say, at this point in time, that I don't think I've been approached—not that I can recall, anyway—about carryover in those three water areas. It is a matter, essentially, for the NRM board to advise me should there be a combined approach in that regard and, if they do approach me, I will consider it.

At the end of the day, these issues are dealt with in terms of the entire water catchment, and the allocation of waters is broken down, essentially, based on the sustainability of the water resource and what level of extraction there currently is, or has historically been, and whether the water resource is under stress, or whether it has been sustained in recent times over the last couple of years. So, all of those things are taken into account when allocations are made. In terms of private carryover for those water users, that would be part of their normal approach to the NRM boards, and I will act on the advice that I receive from my agency in that regard.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK ( 14:21 :47): Supplementary question arising from the minister's answer: do I take it then that in areas where the resource is not under particular stress, his attitude is more likely to be favourable, or am I interpreting that for myself?

The Hon. S.G. Wade: No, you're ascribing rationality.

The PRESIDENT: Minister.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) ( 14:22 :09): I thank the honourable member for her supplementary, and I will ignore the verballing I am getting from the former lawyers surrounding her. That is a practice that, of course, they would have been paid very highly for in private employment, but is not quite so useful in this chamber, Mr President, because we can all hear how they carry on. They really do besmirch the character of most honest lawyers who are out there earning a crust.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Minister.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: In terms of any decision I might make, I reiterate I will do that on the advice of my agency.

 

parliament news waterpricing questions

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.