Water Week

EWN Publishing

South Australia’s Murray irrigators urged to put permanent plantings ahead of annuals in $1.2 billion drought; grain shortages predicted

Posted by waterweek on 26 September 2007

The drought cut $1.2 billion from the state economy in 2006-07, with the State Government predicting in the June Budget an end to drought would return economic growth to 4 per cent this financial year, according to Nigel Austin, rural editor, reported The Advertiser (17/9/2007, p. 7).

Permanent plantings more important than annual crops: South Australian Murray Irri­gators chairman Ian Zadow said he feared if there was no production leaving farms then it would cut jobs in regional areas and Adelaide. A number of food packing and processing operations along the River Murray, Virginia and in Adel­aide were expected to have to downsize as production dropped this year. “SA Murray Irrigators is advising growers of annual crops to make their water available to per­manent plantings so they can keep their crops alive,” Zadow said. “Once they push their trees out it’s a long process to recover.” He said he would propose to his committee tomorrow night irri­gators sue either the State or Fed­eral Government for loss of income because of low water allocations.

Grain shortages: Laucke Flour Mills managing di­rector Mark Laucke warned of shortages of some grain products due to the drought. He expected all baking products would be affected by the shortage of grain and many food prices might be forced to rise. His chain had absorbed most of the increased costs due to the drought so far, but its ability to absorb the cost increases won’t be possible this year.

The Advertiser, 17/9/2007, p. 7

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