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Conflict in Water Use in Victoria, Australia: Bolte's Divide

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In 1964, the Premier of Victoria, Australia, Henry Bolte, announced that, in order to protect irrigation interests in the north of the state, he would prevent Melbourne from developing new water resources from the north of Victoria's Great Divide. Neither the water resource needs of Melbourne, the need for irrigation development nor the changing economic structure of the state provides a satisfactory explanation for this decision. Instead, Bolte's policy appears simply to have provided a means of improving the parliamentary position of the Victorian Liberal government. Bolte's principle has never been formally revoked and continues to influence water resource planning in the state. In order to make the most appropriate use of Victoria's limited natural resources, it is imperative that ‘Bolte's divide’ should not continue to influence future resource development and allocation.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.

Publication date: November 1, 1998


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