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