The National Irrigators’ Council (NIC) has congratulated the newly appointed Morrison / McCormack Government Ministers saying it looks forward to working with them as they tackle difficult tasks.

CEO, Steve Whan says “key Ministerial appointments for the irrigation sector include the welcome re-appointment of David Littleproud as Minister for Water, and with new roles on drought and natural disaster. 

“I spent a few days before the election visiting irrigators in Minister Littleproud’s electorate of Maranoa, I met farmers who have gone four years without a crop, no doubt that local experience will add to the already strong record the Minister brings to this area. 

“Minister Littleproud did a strong job in his previous period as water minister picking his way through a minefield of competing priorities and managing to essentially maintain the bi-partisan commitment to the Basin Plan.  That wasn’t easy and it is good he will retain the role.

“Energy prices are also a key area of concern for irrigators.  High electricity prices are turning Australia from a low cost efficient producer of food and fibre to a situation where we are losing export markets.  We welcome Angus Taylor’s re-appointment as energy Minister and to continuing the positive dialogue we have had with him. 

“Electricity prices have to come down, that means implementing the ACCC’s recommendations among other things.  Agriculture is one of the leading industries with installation of renewables and we would also welcome continued Government encouragement of that and of making storage more accessible.

“Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie’s appointment as Agriculture Minister and the Hon Sussan Ley as environment Minister are both very welcome.  Both are based on the Murray and that gives them both a very strong affinity with the thousands of farmers along the Murray facing zero allocations and the impacts of very high water prices.

“NIC’s job is to work on behalf of our members with Government, Opposition and cross bench Members, we recognise that over the next three years issues around water management and power prices will continue to be challenging and we look forward to playing a constructive role in both.”

Media Contact:  Steve Whan 0429 780 883
Monday 27 May 2019