Water economist calls for long-term solutions over current short-term relief efforts.
Politicians using drought relief to assist farmers in need are ignoring effective and long-lasting solutions to Australia's water emergency, warns a leading expert from The Australian National University (ANU) warns. Professor Quentin Grafton, an Australian laureate and water economist at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, is calling for the Government to declare a water emergency instead of turning to short-term solutions like drought relief.
"Instead of admitting Australia faces a water emergency, political leaders prefer to use the word drought," he said. "This is because Australia has experienced it in the past and it is 'solved' when the rains come. Politicians cannot be blamed for acts of nature.
"Drought relief also gives politicians the opportunity to pretend to fix the problem while showing compassion for those doing it tough.
"Income support to those who can get it is, no doubt, welcome. Unfortunately, it does not solve our water emergency. In this make-believe narrative, all blame accrues to the heavens."
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