Farmers and landowners in the Lower Murray Irrigation District have expressed their frustrations and disappointment over the South Australian Government’s poor handling of flood recovery efforts and ongoing delays in decision making.
Due to the lack of work that has been done and the limited government funding that has been provided, farmers are now fearful they won’t be able to irrigate during the summer months with significant work still required to clear channels and fix infrastructure.
Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick MP heard firsthand from farmers about the decisions that have been imposed on them over the last nine months that have hindered flood recovery efforts.
“After hearing about the issues famers are facing I immediately wrote to Premier Peter Malinauskas, Treasurer Stephen Mullighan and Water Minister Susan Close calling on them to work with their federal counterparts to expedite funding. I also contacted the Federal Minister for Emergency Management, the Hon Murray Watt MP to alert him to the urgency of this situation,” Mr Pederick said.
One of the issues irrigators are most disappointed with is the reluctance of government departments to take on board their suggestions and advice.
“River Murray irrigators tell me they have been in constant communication with government departments about the recovery efforts but unfortunately have felt that their local knowledge has simply been dismissed,” Mr Pederick said.
“I am mindful that the livelihoods of many River Murray farmers were dealt a blow last summer and I do not want to see that repeated this summer as a result of the government’s failure to act.”
“These are the issues that should have been addressed well before now and quite frankly it is a disgrace that farmers are finding themselves in this position nine months on from the River Murray Flood.”