Chris Corrigan, chairman of agri-giant Webster Ltd, made a number of disingenuous claims on @RNBreakfast this morning in the response to our @4Corners story about the $41m it received from the taxpayer... #murraydarling #auspol
1) Corrigan claimed the money it received from the taxpayer is not a grant - the Commonwealth Govt calls it a grant...
2) Corrigan said Webster only received $18.8m under the scheme. No. Webster received $41m and traded in $22m worth of water licences. This is how the funding is counted under the scheme. The taxpayer provided $ for dams so that it could store water it was unable to access earlier
3) Corrigan said the new dams which store 30 billion litres of water only store “tailings” - water runoff from its farms. Webster’s own environmental impact statements say the dams store “supplementary water” - water from heavy rain events which it was unable to access before ...
... The dams CAN store tailings; however the purpose of the taxpayer funded development is to increase irrigated land and store water the company was unable to access from the river before.
This funding was received under a $5.6b taxoayer funded scheme in which the taxpayer cannot get access to simple information about who received the money and what it payed for...
... And the Government is NOT measuring the impacts each project has on the river system and the farming communities the scheme is designed to protect...
Recipients of the grants surrender a portion of their water entitlements, as we repeatedly made clear in the story; however no measurements are being carried out of whether the taxpayer funded projects are depleting the amount the scheme aims to return to the rivers.
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