The NRM Water Levy paid by rural water users in the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges region will not be used to support essential works on the Patawalonga at Glenelg.
Chris Daniels, Presiding Member of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board said an undertaking had been given to local farmers and the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament that no money from the water levy would be used to finance work on the Patawalonga system.
Prof. Daniels said the NRM Water Levy was a contribution by commercial water users in non-urban areas to the costs of planning and managing local water resources to ensure they are used sustainably and to protect them from over use.
He said the NRM Water Levy was already paid by commercial water users in 17 areas across the state. Since 1 July, the water levy has also been introduced into the Western Mt Lofty Ranges.
“In the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges region commercial water users in the Barossa, Northern Adelaide Plains and McLaren Vale have been paying a water levy for more than 10 years.
“In effect they’ve been subsidising the costs for water planning and management in the Western Mt Lofty Ranges for around a decade. So it’s only fair and equitable that commercial water users in the Western Mt Lofty Ranges now also contribute to these costs via the water levy.”
Prof. Daniels said that as result of the recent state budget, the NRM board will be required to pay for the operations and maintenance of the Patawalonga system. However the board had yet to decide how this cost would be met.
“It’s important for NRM Water Levy payers to understand that the levy is not being used to fund works in and around the Patawalonga. “At present the NRM board has not decided where the funding will come from but we’ve given an undertaking to farmers and the Parliament’s Natural Resources Committee that it won’t come from the water levy.
“The reality is that the water levy doesn’t generate enough revenue to cover all the costs of planning and managing the region’s water resources. There’s simply no surplus from the levy that could be diverted to the Patawalonga.”