Free-for-all to end

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - Out & About - Yours etc. So­phie Bald­win Ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer South­ern Rive­rina Ir­ri­ga­tors

Dear Ed­i­tor,

The clock has stopped and it is time for the free-for-all in the north to con­clude. And it is such a great day.

On Tues­day (Septem­ber 22) an im­por­tant dis­al­lowance mo­tion was voted on in the Up­per House of NSW putting an end to the decades of re­lent­less water take from un­li­censed and un­metered ir­ri­ga­tors in the north.

This dis­al­lowance means north­ern NSW ir­ri­ga­tors must come un­der the Water Man­age­ment Act frame­work as their old Water Act 1912 works ap­provals have ex­pired af­ter part 8 was re­moved in 2014 and given five years grace.

North­ern NSW ir­ri­ga­tors can­not legally take water with­out a me­ter or a li­cence and they now have to get in line like the rest of us.

No doubt they will be in up in arms but every free ride must come to an end and they should be thank­ful for the 25 years they had in the box seat.

It has been a long road for SRI to get to this point and we have found some un­likely po­lit­i­cal al­lies in in­de­pen­dent Jus­tine Field, the An­i­mal Jus­tice Party, the Greens, Shoot­ers and Fish­ers, Labour and One Na­tion, who all sup­ported the dis­al­lowance.

No sur­prises Water Min­is­ter Melinda Pavey, the Na­tional Party and the Libs were preach­ing from a dif­fer­ent ser­mon — one based on mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion and grossly un­fair leg­is­la­tion.

This win means water will once again flow into Menindee and down the Dar­ling.

The Dar­ling will be able to make their 39 per cent con­tri­bu­tion at the South Aus­tralian bor­der, re­turn­ing 721,000ML of water to the NSW and Vic­to­ria pro­duc­tive pool.

The list is long and this is only the start but we are de­ter­mined to see water eq­uity re­turn to the basin.

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