Climate | Environment | Emissions Reduction

Climate change is over riding challenge: Lisa Neville

Victoria’s water industry must collaborate and innovate to secure the State’s water resources, Victoria Minister for Water, the Hon. Lisa Neville has told a CEDA event in Melbourne.

“We need to share and innovate together,” she said.

“That benefits at the end of the day customers and also helps us deal with the overall issue of how we continue to do more with less in terms of water scarcity.”

Ms Neville said that competitors need to work together to maximise outcomes and adapt while still maintaining a competitive market place.

Launching the State Government’s draft water plan, Ms Neville discussed the key challenges facing water resources and the community.

“Climate change is perhaps the overriding one,” she said. 

Ms Neville said it is important to develop infrastructure and policy that will best place Victoria to respond to and adapt to climate change and meet everyone’s needs.

“How can we make sure we’re best positioned to support those range of needs whether it’s farmers, whether it’s industry, whether it’s communities, whether it’s the environment,” she said.

“We now see this as a Victorian asset and something that supports needs across…Victoria.

“It’s about how we are able to do more with less and that’s really the pressure as we have population growth.” 

Ms Neville said she hopes Victoria will become a world leader in water management.

“Water sustains life and that is probably one of the reasons water remains our last remaining public utility because it is so critical to everything that we do,” she said. 

“We believe very strongly…that water security is absolutely critical to liveability to our economy to driving investments and jobs and to environmental outcomes.”

Also speaking at the event, Melbourne Water Chairman, Professor the Hon. John Thwaites said Victoria cannot rely on a traditional water system that relies on one source of water – rain water.

“About 15-20 years ago we began to run into what was a triple whammy – of drought, of climate change and extraordinary population growth,” he said.

Professor Thwaites said Victoria must plan for the unexpected events such as floods and droughts that come with climate change.

“In our plan we can’t plan for the average, we have to plan for the unexpected,” he said.