Water Week

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Victorians heave a sigh of relief as Government announces easing of harsh stage 4 water restrictions along all of Victoria’s Murray River towns

Posted by waterweek on 2 October 2007

According to David Rood, state political reporter, reported The Age, (28/09/2007, p.4), harsh stage 4 water restrictions would be eased along all of Victoria’s Murray River towns even as Melbourne sidestepped stage 4 water bans with the surprise introduction of the new category of stage 3a restrictions, which had been in place since 1 April.

Concerned about growth: Premier John Brumby said Melburnians wanted certainty and security in their water use and as he toured the state’s drought-stricken northwest on 27 September announcing further emergency drought relief, he expressed concern that the devastating conditions could slow Victoria’s economic growth.

Relief for Murray towns: The easing of restrictions in Murray towns from Albury-Wodonga to Swan Hill and Mildura had been agreed to by four water authorities and would allow the watering of gardens, but not lawns, for one hour in the morning two days a week.

Keeping spirits high: Brumby said they were tantamount to Melbourne’s 3a level and would make a difference to communities in return for a small amount of water. “The biggest challenge is going to be not just the economic challenge, but keeping communities positive and resilient and one of the great ways of doing that is sport,” Brumby said.

Storages at less than half of last year’s level: At the end of August, the Murray system storages were approximately 1500 billion litres, compared to about 3400 billion litres at the same time last year. Managing director of Goulburn Valley Water, Laurie Gleeson, said they were able to grant the exemption because the authority carried over some water from last year.

$1.1m emergency relief for farmers: More than $1.1 million would be spent on emergency relief for farming families to meet basic needs, including food parcels, assistance with back-to-school expenses and toys for Christmas.

The Age, 28/9/2007, p. 4

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