THE Greens are pushing for Southern Rural Water to be called before a parliamentary inquiry into its management of groundwater.
The Greens will put a motion forward tomorrow in the State Parliament’s upper house.
Greens Leader Greg Barber said Southern Rural Water was clobbered by the Auditor-General two years ago, who at the time said they were issuing licences without knowing how much groundwater was available.
“I want to know if anything has changed since then,” Mr Barber said.
He said farmers and residents had contacted him with concerns.
“The (Coalition) government has 21 out of 40 seats in the upper house,” he said.
“If they don’t support it, it won’t go ahead.
“They supported this in opposition. Now they’re in charge they are not so keen on scrutiny. This agency has questions to answer.”
Water Minister Peter Walsh said Victoria had a sound groundwater management framework and Southern Rural Water was doing a good job managing usage.
“The Greens’ loose accusation that Southern Rural Water was ‘clobbered’ is not correct,” he said.
An Auditor-General’s report in 2010 found Southern Rural Water used unapproved documented compliance polices to guide its compliance activity.
“The Department of Sus-tainability and Environment (DSE) and water corporations do not know whether groundwater use is sustainable,” the report stated.
The motion will be debated before going to a vote tomorrow.
Southern Rural Water did not respond to The Standard’s request for comment.