Water is an essential resource that is vital for the livelihood of our citizens and the good management of water use is paramount to everyone in New South Wales.
I recently participated in a Water Inquiry look at our water sources and storage opportunities across our state.
Evidence received by the committee clearly demonstrated the need for longer term strategic water planning in New South Wales.
Population statistics and say that by 2050 we will have a population of 9.8 million people and a 70 per cent increase in food requirements.
I am deeply alarmed that we are not doing more to secure water for our future needs.
During the inquiry many raised concerns regarding the future of water affordability.
It is nice to have accessible water, but if it is unaffordable it means diddly squat. Residents from Broken Hill, Tamworth and Peel Valley all raised strong concerns around water pricing.
The Inquiry took evidence that if you were to compare the cost of water to buying a loaf of bread. Farmers in Griffith would pay $1.02 per loaf, while farmers in Tamworth would pay $52.00. This demonstrates the inequality in pricing.
We cannot have a water pricing equation that divides the number of farmers by the cost of infrastructure and expect people in those areas to cover the cost. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for water pricing.
To make water more affordable I strongly believe that we need to drought–proof our state and establish better water harvesting mechanisms for improved demand management.
The focus of both Federal and State Governments is often how to build the economy and get budgets into surplus.
Over the last 8 years the Christian Democratic Party has held the balance of power in the NSW State Government. With our support we have increased the net-worth of our state through the recycling of assets by over 110billion dollars.
We need to store more water and we need to do that now. We need new dams and we need to build them now.
It is time to get on with the job and to provide accessible and affordable water to residents and small businesses across New South Wales.