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
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.