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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 714 asked in the Legislative Council on 27 June 2019 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Minister responding: Hon D.J. Kelly
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

WATER CORPORATION — ORD RIVER IRRIGATION SCHEME

714. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the minister representing the Minister for Water:

I refer to a recent media report outlining issues arising from a long delay by the Water Corporation to fix a broken irrigation gate in the Ord River irrigation scheme.

(1) Given that the issue was flagged three years ago and is still waiting to be fixed, what is the anticipated time line to rectify the affected gate?

(2) Does the minister accept that this delay has caused a great deal of angst about the consistent supply of water to growers in the region?

(3) Will the long-awaited water reform legislation contain provision for decisions to be made at a local level on maintenance and repair of water infrastructure to ensure bureaucratic red tape is eliminated and repairs are completed in a timely manner?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question. The following information has been provided to me by the Minister for Water.

(1) The faulty gate was first reported in February 2019 and taken offline as a precaution. Work to repair the gate requires a full shutdown of the M1 channel and has been scheduled for the wet season in late 2019, when the M1 channel is not in use. The date for this work was set in consultation with the Ord Irrigation Cooperative.

(2) Farmers and irrigators still have sufficient water to meet their needs, with the remaining two gates of the M1 irrigation channel fully operational. In consultation with the Ord Irrigation Cooperative, the Water Corporation raised the level of Lake Kununurra to increase water pressure and flow into the M1 Irrigation channel to compensate for the closure of the third gate during periods of high water use.

(3) The water reform legislation is unrelated to the maintenance of irrigation assets.