Joanne Ryan MP
Federal Member for Lalor
Joanne Ryan MP

Werribee South Farmers left with nothing but a photo

For years, I have proudly stood up for the Werribee South farmers by calling on the Federal Coalition Government to provide certainty for their water supply.

Firstly in September 2015, I wrote to the then responsible Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, highlighting the importance of funding to a viable water supply for Werribee South farmers. The response was non-committal.

In April 2016, the Andrew’s Labor Government announced $11.4 million to upgrade the ageing Werribee irrigation infrastructure. This funding was very welcome and at the time, I again called on the Coalition Government to rise to the challenge and provide their fair share of funding. It fell on deaf ears.

In December with the change in Minister, I wrote to the new Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, requesting he provide the $11 million required to ensure certainty for our farmers.

To date there has been no response – just silence. Yet, David Littleproud visited the very same farmers on 23 February for a photo opportunity. No funding announcements, no certainty, no promises – just a photo.

The time for self-promotion is over. What the farmers of Werribee South need is action on funding. I again call on the Minister to step up and secure the future for our local farmers.


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