The head of Griffith’s Build More Dams group says he is “encouraged” by Sussan Ley’s views on water.
Dino Zappacosta said politicians were experiencing an “awakening” on the issue of water.
“Barnaby Joyce and Michael McCormack have been doing their bit for us and now to hear Sussan Ley is on board is really encouraging,” Mr Zappacosta said.
“More politicians are bringing to light the concerns of people in our area which can only push our cause.
“The sooner we get water back to the farmers the better.”
Federal Health Minister and Member for Farrer Sussan Ley told The Area News she wanted an “audit” of the effects of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
“The real impact on our communities since water buybacks started hasn’t been properly understood,” Ms Ley said. However, she wasn’t suggesting “tearing up” the basin plan.
“This needs to be something we do ‘with’ communities, not ‘to’ communities,” she said.
Mr Zappacosta called low water allocations in the 2015/16 season “scandalous”.
More politicians are bringing to light the concerns of people in our area which can only push our cause.Dino Zappacosta
“Burrinjuck Dam is at 50 per cent capacity,” Mr Zappacosta said.
“There’s no way all that water can be used now for the environment and it’s too late for it to be used for crops.
“The environmental plan is just not there and they don’t know what to do with the water.”
Mr Zappacosta said he expected the water would sit in Burrinjuck Dam and be traded in the next season.
“This is desperately wrong,” he said.
“The dams were put there to grow food.
“Every drop of water in that dam is fully committed and farmers are left without enough water.”
Building new dams would take about eight years if they started work today, according to Mr Zappacosta, but the longer politicians waited the more farmers would suffer.
“Somewhere Ms Ley and the other politicians have to come to terms with the infrastructure needed to deliver billions into the economy,” Mr Zappacosta said. “Building more dams is the obvious solution, it just needs the political will behind it.”