- Reference group appointed to advise on water security options for Manjimup-Pemberton horticulture growers
- McGowan Government seeking water security options for growers that will have broad community support and be deliverable
The members of the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme Reference Group have been announced today. Drawn from a broad cross-section of industry, they will provide advice on new measures to deliver water security to the Manjimup-Pemberton horticulture industry following an earlier scheme being assessed as not viable.
Eight members have been appointed and will join reference group Chair, former Department of Agriculture and Food Director General Ian Longson.
The reference group will complement the role of the Warren Donnelly Water Advisory Committee, which provides regional water planning and policy advice to government.
The Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme Reference Group includes:
- Ian Longson - agricultural scientist;
- Jane Kelsbie MLA - Member for Warren-Blackwood;
- Denise Jenkins - farmer, Shire of Manjimup deputy president;
- Monica Radomiljac - farmer, Southern Forests Food Council chair;
- Tom Winfield - farmer;
- John Omodei - farmer, Warren Donnelly Advisory Committee member;
- Bob Pessotto - farmer, former Warren Donnelly Advisory Committee member;
- Donelle Buegge - farmer, Shire of Manjimup shire councillor, Warren Donnelly Advisory Committee member; and
- Brad Wren - farmer.
The group will be supported by staff from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), and asked to provide an interim report in three months.
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"This reference group is an opportunity to develop practical and deliverable solutions to the problem of water security for the local horticulture industry in the face of a drying climate.
"We are pleased the Federal Government has agreed to our request to Minister Plibersek earlier this month to retain Federal funding for this project.
"With the State's contribution, this provides significant capital to work with proponents to progress a suite of solutions for the region."
Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:
"It is important we work together to navigate a pathway forward to ensure the sustainability of water resources for all in the Manjimup-Pemberton region.
"DWER and DPIRD will provide support to the new reference group and assist the local horticulture industry in exploring options to address the impacts of climate change on our precious water sources."
Comments attributed to Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie:
"We have listened and responded to community concerns about water resources in the Warren Donnelly and taken action to progress science-based solutions to water security.
"I am excited to be a member of this formative group, which brings together the views of many to work towards a common goal that is in the best interests of the Manjimup-Pemberton community."
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200
Water Minister's office - 6552 6100