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Deputy Premier accuses AGL of horrendous injustice against farmers

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The Deputy NSW Premier has lashed out at AGL for refusing to fill up a dam which provides water for drought-stricken farmers.

With 97.4 per cent of NSW in drought, it’s hard to believe we’re not utilising every resource to get water to our farmers.

But Deputy Premier John Barilaro says one major energy company is letting a dam reach critically low levels to save money.

When AGL bought Bayswater and Liddell power stations in 2014, they also acquired a water pump to top up the Glenbawn Dam in the Upper Hunter Region.

AGL uses water from the dam to service the two power stations, and has guaranteed water usage rights for it, meaning their needs take precedence over everyone else, including local farmers.

The dam also provides irrigated water for farmers and miners, but they’ve had their water allocations slashed as dam levels have dropped below 50 per cent.

Mr Barilaro says AGL is refusing to pump water into the dam, denying farmers up to 60 billion litres of water over the last three years.

But AGL claims the reason it can’t fill up the dam is because the pump it acquired was already broken.

Alan Jones confronted Mr Barilaro about the situation, demanding to know what he’s going to do about it.

Alan Jones: “You must have power… you are running the show. Someone has to tell these people today to fix the pump, start pumping water to Glenbawn Dam! And if you don’t have the authority to do that, pass a piece of legislation, call the Parliament back, and make sure you have that authority!”

John Barilaro: “Alan, absolutely. I’ve given AGL their chance, now it’s time to step in.”

Alan Jones: “Good on you! Take the licence away from them, good on you!”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Getty / Steven Markham