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‘It’s five to midnight’: State and federal water ministers clash over Victorian dams

Neil Mitchell
Article image for ‘It’s five to midnight’: State and federal water ministers clash over Victorian dams

The Federal government has slammed state government’s over their water management and failure to build new dams.

Figures released by the Morrison government show water storage levels will drop by 30 per cent per person by 2030 if current trends continue.

Australian states are responsible for managing water storage, but the Morrison Government says most states are failing to plan.

Federal Water Minister David Littleproud slammed state governments, with the exception of Tasmania.

“State’s need to wake up to themselves,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“They’ve done three-fifths of bugger all since 2003. It’s time to get moving.”

Since 2003, 20 dams have been built in Australia: 16 in Tasmania, 2 in New South Wales, 1 in Queensland and 1 in the ACT.

Federal government figures show Victoria’s water storage levels are set to drop from 2.77 megalitres per person to 1.58 megalitres per person by 2030.

Mr Littleproud said states have failed to plan for population growth.

“It’s five to midnight,” he said.

“There has been no planning, no thinking.”

Press PLAY below for more from Federal Water Minister David Littleproud.

Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville hit back at Mr Littleproud.

She said Victoria will “absolutely not” be building new dams.

“I wish it was as simple as building a dam, it’s not as simple as that. We will create more problems by doing that,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“We have very low yield catchments other than where we already have dams, so all you would be doing is diverting water from somewhere else.

“We don’t have a whole lot of spare water.

“All we’d be doing is simply taking it from our farmers, taking it from our rivers which are also critical for economic and environmental resources.”

Ms Neville said coping with falling water resources and a booming population will require behavioural and technological change.

“This is going to need to be a combination of better use of our current catchments, so less use for anything other than drinking water,” she said.

“What we need to do in our cities is capture that storm water that’s often created by storms, for fit for purpose use.”

Press PLAY below to hear what Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville had to say on 3AW Mornings.

Image (at top): Construction Photography/AvalonĀ 

Neil Mitchell