Roma Geurin of Kinglake is frustrated that Melbourne Water is propping up Melbourne’s and other area’s water supplies with water from the Eildon Weir while in the past year in the Shire of Murrindindi, 11.5 per cent of wage earners have struggled to put food on the table.
Roma didn’t seem to get any where with this impassioned plea to the metropolitan newspapers.
“We’ve suffered years of drought, and more recently, the devastation of bushfire. At the same time, we’ve continued to provide the superb tourist facilities for suburbanites to escape the pressures of city life.”
“We must do this, because for many, especially in Eildon, this is their livelihood.”
While Melbourne is on Stage 3A restrictions, the Murrindindi Shire is on Stage 4 restrictions and will be so for years to come, taking into account Melbourne Water estimates of a 5 to 15 year recovery period.
“There’s not a lot anyone can teach this Shire about being water-wise. Approx one-third of residents are on town water supply fed from the river system.”
The rest manage with rainwater tanks and dams, and farmers must pay for licences to draw water from the rivers, even when
there’s no water. This is a simple fact of life in the country.”
The Kinglake district sits atop the Great Divide, a watershed for the Goulburn River system via the Yea River, and the Melbourne water system via the Diamond Creek and King Parrot Creek, plus various underground springs in between.
Kinglakers protect the streams, understanding how important this water is to the wellbeing of many Victorians.
“Despite this, the landowners on the south side of the main road have to pay an annual Drainage Rate (for no service!) to Yarra Valley Water, collected on behalf of Melbourne Water.”
“On receipt of their first account, newcomers have indignantly advised the authority that some mistake has been made, only to be told, pay up or we’ll turn your water off. Melbourne Water must assume they have a direct line to God.”
People of regional areas are hard done by big city water use:
“The Sugarloaf Interconnector Pipeline is proposed to start in Yea, and take a hypothetical one-third of any water available to bolster the needs of the metro area. Metro users need to consider the hypothetical ramifications of this.”
“Has anyone told you that if there’s insufficient water to grow the fruit and vegies, and fatten the beef, and the dairy cattle, there will eventually be less food to buy in the local shops, and may become so expensive as to raise the bar in future Food Security reports.”
And here’s Roma and the people of Kinglake’s plea:
“We know that the metro water storages have been really stretched and know you’ve made great strides in practicing water-saving. Good on you, and congrats to the schools for the fantastic programs put in place to educate the next two generations of kids about the whole darn issue.”
“It’s the current generation of homeowners I’m addressing here. Please continue to make huge inroads into improving your water savings; please support your northeastern neighbors; and please tell Melbourne Water that you actually do not want to add to the current worries in Murrindindi by supplementing your water supply at our expense.”