NFF wel­comes vi­tal wa­ter con­sul­ta­tion

NewsMail - Wide Bay Rural Weekly - - TOP 5 TOPICS -

NA­TIONAL Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion vice-pres­i­dent Les Gor­don has wel­comed the start of de­tailed con­sul­ta­tion on the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Author­ity’s es­ti­mates for ad­just­ing the Basin Plan wa­ter re­cov­ery tar­get for the South­ern Basin.

“In 2012, un­der the lead­er­ship of then wa­ter min­is­ter Tony Burke, Basin gov­ern­ments and the Com­mon­wealth Par­lia­ment agreed to the Sus­tain­able Di­ver­sion Limit (SDL) Ad­just­ment Mech­a­nism,” Mr Gor­don said.

“This mech­a­nism en­ables the Basin Plan wa­ter re­cov­ery tar­get to be re­duced by up to 650 gi­gal­itres where equiv­a­lent en­vi­ron­men­tal out­comes can be achieved with less wa­ter – the so-called ‘down wa­ter’.

“While the MDBA’s draft anal­y­sis in­di­cates state gov­ern­ments haven’t come up with the so­lu­tions to de­liver the full po­ten­tial of the max­i­mum off­set that is pos­si­ble, the re­sult means that the wa­ter re­cov­ery re­quired to im­ple­ment the Basin Plan is com­plete, and in­deed in some ar­eas, over-re­cov­ery has oc­curred.”

State gov­ern­ments will ul­ti­mately be re­spon­si­ble for de­liv­er­ing these projects with a com­ple­tion date set for 2024. All Basin min­is­ters have com­mit­ted to de­tailed con­sul­ta­tion re­gard­ing the de­sign and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the projects.

“We know many of the projects are not straight­for­ward and will re­quire de­tailed and mean­ing­ful con­sul­ta­tion with ir­ri­ga­tors, ri­par­ian land­hold­ers and com­mu­ni­ties,” Mr Gor­don said.

“Gov­ern­ments need to build stake­holder con­fi­dence in these projects, and en­sure those that will be af­fected by their im­ple­men­ta­tion will have their needs met.”

He said the NFF would con­sult with gov­ern­ments on the MDBA’s anal­y­sis.

PHOTO: DAVID BAR­WELL

BASIN PLAN­NING: NFF has wel­comed con­sul­ta­tion from the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Author­ity.

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