House debates

Monday, 22 March 2021

Statements by Members

Australian Floods

1:37 pm

Photo of Barnaby JoyceBarnaby Joyce (New England, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today because, in so many areas down our east coast, we have almost diluvian floods that are beyond comparison. Now we hear about another rain event coming that will absolutely saturate the inner parts of New South Wales, especially. What I think these issues talk to is the requirement, which we have spoken of before, for more dams. In our nation, we need more dams. If we had a bigger dam where Warragamba Dam is, we would have a greater capacity to mitigate floods, not only by holding back floodwaters but by holding an amount that you could go back to without Sydney running out of water.

So many people are now saying, 'Why wasn't there a release of water?' There wasn't a release of water because the current zeitgeist in many instances talks about drought and about how it's going to stop raining and we're only going to get minor rainfall events. We've had other people, such as Professor Tim Flannery, saying the ground will be so hot that it will be unlikely that water will run off as it did, and the world has changed. But this is not the case. What we've had this year, especially in our area, is a cooler year and a much wetter year. But the times will dry again and the droughts will come. Wouldn't it have been great if we had had the capacity, during this wet time, to store some of this wealth which is water, so that, when the dry times come again, we would be able to use it?