Newly sworn in South West MLC James Hayward has spoken on water issues impacting Manjimup for the first time since being named shadow minister for water. Mr Hayward said he put his hand up for the position because he was intrigued with the issues regarding spring rights and the Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme. When discussing the ongoing issues between the WA Water Users Coalition and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Mr Hayward said both sides could be doing slightly more to understand where each other was coming from. “I think DWER could be doing a bit better in that space in terms of being a bit more conversational with people ... surely it’s not that difficult making appointments with people to go onto farmers’ properties. I think a bit of courtesy would go a long way,” he said. “Mind you, having said that I think farmers could show a bit of courtesy to the DWER guys who are just trying to do their jobs.” Mr Hayward also addressed the Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme during his visit to Manjimup last week in the build up to a report expected to be released before the end of the month by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. The report will address the water levels available for farmers and whether DWER’s findings were accurate when first compiled. The irrigation scheme plans to pump water from the Donnelly River to a proposed dam at Record Brook. The water will then be sent out through a massive network of pipelines to farmers who have purchased the water from the SFIS. After meeting with farmers, Mr Hayward urged both sides to wait until the CSIRO published its findings. “The guys who run the scheme, it’s not their data, the Government has come in and said ‘this is how much you can have we’ve found you 9.3 GL you can have it from here’,” he said.