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Water security on MP’s agenda

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

Barwon MP Roy Butler Barwon MP Roy Butler

By Emily McInerney

Local State MP Roy Butler has put out the call for temporary water measures and wants to see more done for long-term water security.

Mr Butler wrote to NSW Minister for Water Melinda Pavey after funding was provided for the transport of water to the township of Guyra.

“I am requesting that the same approach be adopted for communities across the Barwon electorate, given the depth and extent of the current drought, normal planning and budgetary provisions of local councils and communities may have been exhausted,” he said.

Mr Butler said portable water that people have confidence in was a basic human requirement and it underpinned industry in western NSW.

He has written to councils and operators of domestic supplies in the Unincorporated Area of the Barwon electorate asking them to put forward projects for funding consideration.

“Armidale Council were trucking in water to Guyra as their storages were at 55 per cent and 35 per cent,” he said.

“There is urgency in the community of Barwon because they have it just as bad if not worse,” Mr Butler told the BDT.

“Barwon needs to be at the top of the list if money is being put towards temporary water measures.”

Mr Butler said he had spoken with Ms Pavey and delivered information to her office.

“It’s been a two-way street, there’s been no push back or resistance.

“Minister Pavey has said she will work with me and I’ve said I’m happy to work with anyone.”

He said these initial requests were about short term measures.

“I have been asking councils what measures are needed to remain viable.

“Trucking water in is a short term measure but in the long term, we need to deal with storages and treating bore water.”

Mr Butler has also met with several industry groups that treat bore water and have transportable machines.

“For a town like White Cliffs it would make sense to truck a device that would turn bore water into drinkable water.

“It’s now about getting cracking to implement plans. I would like to see some discussions around it all and I’m happy to speak with anyone.”

Mr Butler will be in Broken Hill next week on May 22 to May 24 before going to Menindee for the “Dancing on the Darling” music festival.

He said he will be having a few official meetings but was happy to meet with people for a coffee and a chat.

His local electoral office has also been set up and information will be made available about where people can meet him.

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