Sheed: re­view ‘writes off’ GMID

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

The lat­est re­port on wa­ter sav­ings mea­sures for the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin has been de­scribed as a ‘‘light­weight re­port’’ which raised more ques­tions than it an­swered.

State Mem­ber for Shep­par­ton Suzanna Sheed said the con­clu­sions of a re­view of ef­fi­ciency mea­sures in the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin were dis­ap­point­ing and were based on a fun­da­men­tal mis­un­der­stand­ing of the basin plan leg­is­la­tion.

Ms Sheed said the re­view com­pleted by con­sul­tancy firm Ernst & Young for the Mur­ray-Dar­ling Basin Min­is­te­rial Coun­cil was lit­tle more than a sur­face-level as­sess­ment based on in­ac­cu­rate data as­sump­tions.

‘‘Not only have the po­ten­tial wa­ter sav­ings been in­flated, the cost of on-farm ef­fi­ciency mea­sures and the mar­ket price of high-re­li­a­bil­ity wa­ter shares have been con­sid­er­ably un­der­es­ti­mated and no cost­ing has been pro­vided for any of the pro­posed regional devel­op­ment ini­tia­tives for com­mu­ni­ties.’’

Ms Sheed said she was dis­ap­pointed that the Goul­burn Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion Dis­trict, which is broadly ac­knowl­edged as one of the hotspots of neg­a­tive out­comes aris­ing from the basin plan, was not con­sid­ered in the re­port as be­ing wor­thy of a case study with a tar­geted anal­y­sis of the im­pacts of fu­ture wa­ter re­moval.

‘‘We have been telling any­one who will lis­ten for some time now that the GMID is at a tip­ping point — it has been strug­gling un­der the strain of the basin plan and will not be able to with­stand the re­moval of any fur­ther wa­ter,’’ Ms Sheed said.

‘‘There has clearly been an over­rid­ing im­per­a­tive in the prepa­ra­tion of this re­port to find the ex­tra 450 Gl of wa­ter at all costs, ef­fec­tively writ­ing the GMID off as an un­for­tu­nate loser who could be pla­cated with fund­ing for non-re­lated com­mu­nity and in­dus­try needs.

‘‘That is not ac­cept­able and rep­re­sents a com­plete dis­re­gard for the plan it­self which states the ad­di­tional 450 Gl of ‘up-wa­ter’ can­not be re­cov­ered if there are neg­a­tive so­cial or eco­nomic im­pacts.’’

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