Monday, 2 December 2019
Questions without Notice
I might answer this in my capacity as representing the minister for water, Minister Littleproud. The two million Australians who live and work throughout the Murray-Darling Basin system are actually providing food and fibre not just to our entire country but to the world. It is a hub of clean, green, safe, sustainable food production. It is also—in Shepparton, through the Goulburn Valley, in my home state of Victoria, and in other areas, particularly in New South Wales—the hub of food manufacturing. There are tens of thousands of Australians in these communities, on farm and off farm, who rely on water to be able to ensure they can continue to do what they have been doing for decades—and, in many cases, generations.
We know that these communities are under pressure. I was one of the first people in this place coming back from the election to be talking about the heartache, when you are a farmer in drought, of seeing water flow right past your front gate to water an environmental asset far, far away. It is heartbreaking. These farmers have had to come to parliament, and that's why we have been making changes since we came to parliament—