30 April 2019, MR McCURDY (OVENS VALLEY): I want to place on record my deep concerns for the farming communities in the Ovens Valley. Climate change is taking its toll and many farming families cannot adapt to the conditions. Agriculture is the engine room of our local economies and sadly this Melbourne-based city-centric government continues to ignore the needs of our rural people. Irrigation water has now exceeded $600 per megalitre for a one-off annual use. This is unsustainable and more needs to be done to prevent these excessive price hikes which are borne by the end user—the farmers who cannot afford them. While the Premier for Melbourne gives his union mates nearly $500 000 a year, our farming families are ignored again.