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Key Water Blog

National Irrigators’ Council – Monday 20th May 2019

Congratulations to the Morrison / McCormack Government on their re-election on Saturday.  We look forward to continuing to work with them, and, in particular,  water Minister David Littleproud, and energy Minister Angus Taylor, over the next term – a term of Government that will include a vital period in the implementation of the Basin Plan and in addressing high power prices.

Like many others I didn’t see a result of a majority Coalition Government coming, mind you, I also only picked one from eight in footy tipping this weekend too….

The new Senate voting rules and the fact that it was only a half senate election meant a few of the smaller parties have gone, however, the Senate will still be a challenge for the Government.  There are still a lot of votes to be counted but it looks like, to get legislation passed, the Government will need the support of four cross bench votes.

It looks like the Senate will have Coalition (34 ish?), Labor (26 or 27), 9 Greens, 2 One Nation, 2 Centre Alliance along with Corey Bernardi and Jacqui Lambie.

Congratulations to Perin Davey who looks likely to be elected to the Senate.  It is great to have someone going into the Senate who has such a detailed knowledge of the irrigation sector and the Murray Darling Basin plan.  Her presence can only be a positive for our sector.

Congratulations also to the lower house members representing seats covering our membership, all of them have had the endorsement of their communities and been returned (where they re-contested).  Having strong representation from local members is vital, particularly when they are in the party room of the party in Government.

It is interesting to note the results in the Senate for the Centre Alliance party.  They will still have two Senators as a result of both having six-year terms from the double dissolution.  However, at this this election they had one of the biggest swings in Australia against them, nearly 20%.  Hardly a ringing endorsement for the work Senator Rex Patrick has been doing in, effectively, trying to destroy rural communities across every Basin state.

Obviously, we will be waiting with great interest the PM’s decision on who ministers will be.  David Littleproud has done a very good job in a difficult portfolio, personally, I hope he continues in the Water and Agriculture portfolio.

Thank you to NIC members in Queensland who let me visit last week.  I had the pleasure of attending Bundaberg Regional Irrigators Group’s adapting renewable energy project open day (more about it in a future news); I then learnt a lot visiting our members in Central Downs on the Condamine River and then down to St George and Dirranbandi on the Balonne.

Best wishes
Steve Whan


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