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Luke O’Sullivan, Northern Victorian Nationals MP, has directly referred the inquiry.
Luke O’Sullivan, Northern Victorian Nationals MP, has directly referred the inquiry.

A VICTORIAN parliamentary inquiry has been established to look at better management, governance and use of environmental water throughout the state.

Northern Victoria Nationals MP Luke O’Sullivan directly referred the inquiry to the Upper House Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee.

 “We need to try to find the correct balance to ensure environmental water is managed efficiently and that it isn’t having a negative impact on the ecosystem in the form of blackwater events,” Mr O’Sullivan said.  

“This inquiry will lay the groundwork to identify any actions we can take to better manage the health of our waterways.”

The terms of reference include an assessment of the role of environmental water management, in preventing, or causing, ‘blackwater’ events, and managers use of carryover.  It would also look at whether the carryover of environmental water impacted on the availability of water for irrigators.

Opposition water spokesman Peter Walsh said the inquiry was a chance to achieve better waterway health and give communities and stakeholders a chance to voice their concerns.

Water minister Lisa Neville said Victoria had a strong and robust environmental regime, which includes carefully planned environmental flows.

“This move signals that the Nationals and Liberals are playing politics with water, undermining environmental measures, and ignoring the benefits already in place for farmers, irrigators and the recreational fishing community,” Ms Neville said.