Speaking today, Green Party Spokesperson on Agriculture Senator Pippa Hackett stated:
“The Midlands region is no stranger to flooding – and major flooding events in recent years has caused significant damage to homes, businesses, and farms, and many without any insurance cover for such events. This year, the problem is worse than ever in some areas – even on our own farm we have areas flooded that had never been under water before.
“The response from the last two governments has been totally inadequate. They have ignored the science, not heeded the advice, and tackling the current acute flooding problem at this stage has be prioritised, but a longer-term plan must be put in place.
“Over the decades, the continued denuding of vegetation and trees, drainage of peatlands, and excessive reclamation of farmland, has removed the very defences needed to prevent such floods. Poor government decisions in relation to river and land management has left more and more areas vulnerable to the effects of flooding.
“The scientific predictions have for a long time indicated that climate change will bring wetter winters, and that flooding occurrences will be much more frequent, so what we are experienced this year, and over previous years, will become the norm.
“Dealing with flooding into the future will require a huge shift in how we manage our land, and how we reward farmers to do this for us. We not only need to absorb excess water, but we also need to slow down the movement of water into our lakes, rivers and streams. It is vital that the next Government are strong on this, and our rural areas depend on this. It’s time to start righting the wrongs of previously poor government policy in dealing with this huge problem.”
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