Drought blame, Adam Marshall left unimpressed by comments from David Littleproud

DROUGHT TOUR: Farmer Ben Swan speaks to media when Water Resources Minister David Littleproud and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg were near Inverell Thursday morning September 3 to meet with farmers.
DROUGHT TOUR: Farmer Ben Swan speaks to media when Water Resources Minister David Littleproud and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg were near Inverell Thursday morning September 3 to meet with farmers.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has come out with all guns blazing following comments made by Federal Water Minister David Littleproud at Inverell on Thursday morning.

After meeting with business owners on Wednesday and civic leaders on Wednesday evening, Mr Littleproud told farmers at Inverell on Thursday morning that the federal government was going to remain agile and ask the states to do the same.

"I've written to all the state premiers and asked them to consider paying councils the rates of local government for small business and for farmers to give them a reprieve," he said.

"And they could look at payroll tax as well because those business in town, as we heard yesterday, are also hurting.

"So this has to be a targeted approach in a co-operative way with the states and I just ask the states to think deeply about this and to act quickly."

Mr Littleproud said it was all about us acting together to look after one and other.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall

Mr Marshall said drought should not be a partisan issue.

"Everyone wants to help, and needs to help," he said.

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"My only advice to the Commonwealth is, instead of trying to shift the blame onto the states, how about they get their own house into order?

"Like why do they give drought money, $1 million, to councils in Victoria that clearly don't need it and quite publicly don't want it either."

Mr Marshall said in the last two years the state had invested more than $35 million into new water infrastructure for our communities.

"That is for pipelines, new dams, emergency water cartage and for water treatment plant upgrades," he said.

"This was for communities like Guyra, with the Malpas Dam pipeline, Boggabilla, Toomela, Pallamalawa, Bundarra, Moree, Inverell, Glen Innes, Warialda and Gravesend.

"In the same period that that's all happened the Commonwealth Government has contributed zero."

Mr Marshall said while he welcomed the federal government's offer to invest in water infrastructure, there had not been any evidence of it yet. Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he had come here to hear the stories from this area.

"We're also here to talk through what more we can do to continue the support that the Morrison government is providing these communities," he said .

"Australia cares. The government cares. What happens in this paddock effects all of us."

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