Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (15:02): My question is to the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water. Will the government expand eligibility for flood recovery grants to include irrigation trusts? With your leave, sir, and that of the house, I will explain.
Mr PEDERICK: Irrigation trusts are unable to apply for any of the funding grants that are available and, as a result, they cannot afford to fix the trust-owned infrastructure to get the vital desilting works on channel infrastructure.
The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN (Lee—Treasurer) (15:02): I thank the member for that question. It's a good question because, during the course of the flood recovery effort, we have made a series of decisions to change some of the allocations of funding that we had made previously to address the more pertinent needs of the community. In fact, I think it was only last week or the week before that we made a further amount of funds available for dewatering purposes, which I know is not what the member asked for, but it does, I guess, respond to the query of whether the government is going to be open-minded and flexible about how we deploy these funds. We do that as quickly as we are able to.
Part of the challenge is that some of the funds—not all of them, but some of the funds—in the overall recovery effort are provided by the commonwealth. We do need to seek their approval if we are looking to deploy some of that funding. In particular, in relation to the issue that the member raises, and I think he wrote to me about it last week, we are chasing that issue for him and hopefully we can do something that will address that particular need. We do understand it's a serious issue for those people who are impacted. It is urgent and we will try to respond as urgently as we possibly can to it.