The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources has begun an inquiry into water use efficiency.
Australia is spending record amounts to modernise its irrigation infrastructure in an effort to make agricultural water use more efficient and increase the amount of water available for environmental flows.
Committee chair Rick Wilson said the inquiry would focus on the benefits these upgrade programs provide for irrigators as well as the value for money they represent, and will also seek to identify any areas where resources may be better directed.
‘‘The agricultural sector is obviously very important to the Australian economy and irrigated agriculture is a big part of that,’’ Mr Wilson said.
‘‘The committee wants to make sure that Australia is getting the best outcomes from these programs that we possibly can.’’
The committee will be accepting submissions to the inquiry until March 31.
The inquiry will focus on:
■The adequacy and efficacy of current programs in achieving irrigation water use efficiencies.
■How existing expenditure provides value for money for the Commonwealth.
■Possible improvements to programs, their administration and delivery.
■Other matters, including, but not limited to, maintaining or increasing agricultural production, consideration of environmental flows and adoption of world’s best practice.