Ir­ri­ga­tors can ten­der for wa­ter

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

En­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter made avail­able yes­ter­day will be ac­ces­si­ble in the NSW Mur­ray.

The Com­mon­wealth En­vi­ron­men­tal Wa­ter Holder has an­nounced the sale of 20 gi­gal­itres of Goul­burn Val­ley wa­ter through a ten­der process to open on Mon­day, Septem­ber 3.

South­ern Rive­rina Ir­ri­ga­tors wel­comed the sale which can be ac­ces­si­ble to ir­ri­ga­tors in the Mur­ray sys­tem through the South­ern Con­nected Basin trade rules.

‘‘Ac­cord­ing to the Vic­to­rian Wa­ter Reg­is­ter, there is cur­rently ca­pac­ity to trade over 180 gi­gal­itres from the Goul­burn to the New South Wales Mur­ray so Mur­ray ir­ri­ga­tors can par­tic­i­pate in this ten­der,’’ SRI chair Gabrielle Cou­p­land said.

‘‘This an­nounce­ment is very wel­come at a time when peo­ple are des­per­ate to fin­ish the crops they have al­ready in­vested in.

‘‘Even though it it only 20 gi­gal­itres, it will add to the vol­ume avail­able in the con­sump­tive pool at a cru­cial time in the crop­ping cy­cle and every lit­tle bit helps.’’

Par­ents, teach­ers and com­mu­nity mem­bers in­spected the hard work of the Fin­ley High School agri­cul­ture team last week.

The ag team hosted an open day at the school, to which com­mu­nity mem­bers were in­vited.

Cat­tle and sheep were shown and par­ents were taken on a tour of the fa­cil­i­ties by stu­dents.

Agri­cul­ture teacher Gary Webb said it was a proud oc­ca­sion for the en­tire ag team.

‘‘The stu­dents can be ex­tremely happy with what they’ve done.

‘‘The kids go home every night and talk about what they did for the day, so par­ents were keen to see what they do on a daily ba­sis.

‘‘Peo­ple who do­nate an­i­mals to the school were also in­vited to check the progress of their an­i­mal.

‘‘They were im­pressed to think over six months ago their an­i­mal was run­ning around a pad­dock and now it’s 500kg and being led by a small Year 7 girl.’’

Ag team sup­porter David Bolton, from Shep­par­ton, was on hand to clip the cat­tle, and in­com­ing prin­ci­pal Jeff Ward at­tended to get a first glimpse of what the ag team does.

The CEWH an­nounce­ment is on the back of the NSW En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Gabrielle Up­ton an­nounc­ing 15GL of en­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter to be sold across the state, with pro­ceeds from the sale to be held in trust with the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries to be used for pri­or­ity drought projects.

‘‘It is great that the Com­mon­wealth En­vi­ron­men­tal Wa­ter Holder has fol­lowed the lead of New South Wales,’’ Mrs Cou­p­land said.

‘‘We have been call­ing for a re­lease of wa­ter since July when it be­came ob­vi­ous that in­ter­ven­tion would be needed given the grave rainfall out­looks.

‘‘Both of these sales show there is scope for flex­i­bil­ity within the cur­rent rules.

‘‘As ir­ri­ga­tors we are fun­da­men­tally aware of the prop­erty right and we would never ask for that right to be com­pro­mised. But if we work within the rules or look for ways we can fa­cil­i­tate a wa­ter re­lease that is fair and eq­ui­table, in years like this all av­enues must be ex­plored.

‘‘We said we would be happy to beg, bor­row or buy wa­ter to fin­ish our crops and the New South Wales En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter and now the Com­mon­wealth En­vi­ron­men­tal Wa­ter Holder has heard our call and taken the first step.

‘‘It would be great if other wa­ter man­agers fol­lowed suit with some sort of of­fer­ing.

‘‘If this sale was some­how com­ple­mented by an al­lo­ca­tion an­nounce­ment at the start of Septem­ber it would do amaz­ing things for morale as well as give us pro­duc­tive crop­ping out­comes boost­ing our re­gional economies.’’

SRI has been talk­ing to a range of stake­hold­ers since July to try to iden­tify a way to get wa­ter re­leased for pro­duc­tive use to al­low ir­ri­ga­tors to fin­ish grain, fod­der and hay crops at a time when na­tional feed stocks are des­per­ately needed.

‘‘We are very pleased to have these two an­nounce­ments of sales that, de­spite small vol­umes, send a mes­sage that peo­ple are look­ing for so­lu­tions,’’ Mrs Cou­p­land said.

Fin­ley High School agri­cul­ture team mem­bers pre­par­ing for their open day last week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.