South West Greens MLC Diane Evers has said today’s announcement of an independent review into the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme (SFIS) demonstrates the ongoing need for Greens members in WA Parliament.
Ms Evers, The Greens (WA) spokesperson for water, has campaigned to stop the SFIS over the course of her term in the Legislative Council, leading Parliamentary advocacy alongside community meetings and public discussion that have drawn state-wide attention.
Today’s announcement by the WA Labor Government comes after persistent and ever-growing calls from the West Manjimup community to cancel the water-trading scheme, amid questions about the accuracy of water modelling that has been described as “critically flawed” for not taking account of declining groundwater levels in South West catchments.
Ms Evers has sought to support and elevate the work of the Save Our Donnelly River and Don’t Damn the Donnelly community groups and was in Manjimup to campaign against the SFIS as recently as last week.
Ms Evers has also asked 21 parliamentary questions and made three member’s statements on the issue in Parliament during her term, and has tabled two petitions with nearly 4,000 signatures between them.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:
“Today’s announcement by the WA Labor Government comes as a result of years of campaigning by the community to stop the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme.
“A diverse crossbench in WA Parliament, featuring four WA Greens MPs, has maintained the upper house as one of review and accountability, forcing the Government to respond to the community’s legitimate concerns.
“An independent review does not go far enough, fast enough, however.
“Independent experts and those with subject-matter knowledge have been calling out the SFIS out as an inequitable water trading scheme for years, established thanks to 85 per cent of funding by taxpayers, but locking out 85 per cent of farming businesses.
“This is a flawed scheme and a bad plan that supports local systems of inequalities amongst farmers in the region, prioritising the mates of those who make decisions instead of an agricultural community calling for a fair water allocation plan.”
“Western Australians deserve a government that will take action on issues of climate and water scarcity.
“The time has come for the WA Labor Government to show leadership and stop the SFIS.”
GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070