FARM WATER REBATE SCHEME —
314. Hon RICK MAZZA to the minister representing the
Minister for Water:
I refer to concerns over a lack of
water in the Lake Grace region.
(1) Will the
state government consider reinstating the farm water rebate scheme?
(2) How regularly
are farmers in the Lake Grace region being consulted by the Department of Water
and Environmental Regulation to keep them updated about their local water
(3) What is being
done in the short and long term to assist Lake Grace farmers in their water
ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for the question.
The Minister for Water has provided the following information.
(1) The farm water
rebate scheme was in place for 24 years. The scheme provided a rebate to
support water infrastructure; it did not subsidise water. A significant number
of farmers in the Shire of Lake Grace took advantage of the scheme, and a total
of $622 437 was invested in rebates as part of that scheme from January 2009.
Despite this investment, farmers in the area are still experiencing significant
shortages in water due to the severity of the season. Reinstating the scheme
will do nothing to assist farmers deal with the immediate impacts of the dry
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is providing farmers with
weekly updates through local shires.
government, through the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, is
working closely with the Shire of Lake Grace, the Department of Primary
Industries and Regional Development and the Water
Corporation to understand farmers' water needs and to provide water
supply information. Emergency water supplies and farmers' water
carting requirements are being monitored weekly. Four new supplies for farmers
in the Shire of Lake Grace have been brought online recently, and two
additional supplies for the Shires of Jerramungup and Esperance will be
available shortly. The Water Corporation is already bringing water to the area
to bolster existing town supplies. The government is liaising with other
commercial water users to direct sourcing of water from outside the current
areas of high demand. The department has spoken with shires in dryland areas to
ensure that each knows the requirements of the water deficiency declaration
process. The McGowan government has sought commonwealth funding to improve
emergency water supplies across the state.