Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Keen to work to­gether for so­lu­tions

- Deniliquin

The Mur­ray Re­gional Strat­egy Group is hope­ful last week’s visit from Sir An­gus Hous­ton is the start of a new and pro­duc­tive re­la­tion­ship with the Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin Au­thor­ity.

The MRSG’s newly ap­pointed chair Geoff Moar and out­go­ing chair Alan Mathers met with Sir An­gus last Tues­day evening in Deniliquin.

‘‘Our door has al­ways been open to the Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin Au­thor­ity, and we are keen to work with the MDBA on achiev­able so­lu­tions to wa­ter man­age­ment in our re­gion,’’ Mr Moar said.

‘‘The MRSG was formed be­cause politi­cians ad­vised us that we needed a united ap­proach from this re­gion on wa­ter is­sues, pro­vid­ing one key group that gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives could deal with.

‘‘From our per­spec­tive there had been on­go­ing con­cern for many years around the lack of com­mu­nity in­put into de­ci­sion­mak­ing. We are hop­ing this week is a cat­a­lyst to change this.’’

Mr Moar pointed out the Mur­ray Val­ley was the most se­verely im­pacted re­gion from Basin Plan im­ple­men­ta­tion, hav­ing lost 30 per cent of its pro­duc­tive wa­ter from en­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter re­cov­ery pro­grams.

‘‘We are see­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and eco­nomic de­struc­tion from this plan, which has not de­liv­ered the adapt­abil­ity or ‘triple bot­tom line’ that was promised.

‘‘The MDBA has not put enough time into en­gag­ing with our com­mu­ni­ties and this needs to change.

‘‘Sir An­gus has made a com­mit­ment to re­turn to the re­gion, which we wel­come. We are ready and will­ing to en­gage and work with the MDBA on long-term sus­tain­able so­lu­tions.’’

Dur­ing the MDBA chair’s visit he met with var­i­ous farm­ing and ad­vo­cacy groups, many of which are MRSG mem­bers.

‘‘In­di­vid­ual or­gan­i­sa­tions have their own spe­cific pri­or­i­ties and is­sues. Our role is to build con­sen­sus in key ar­eas of wa­ter man­age­ment, which has been achieved.

‘‘We en­cour­age the MDBA and gov­ern­ments to con­tinue work­ing with us, so the se­ri­ous neg­a­tive and of­ten un­in­tended con­se­quences of the Basin Plan can be ad­dressed.

‘‘Sir An­gus was at­ten­tive and am­i­ca­ble. We ap­pre­ci­ate the time and ef­fort he is putting into his new role and look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work with him for the ben­e­fit of the re­gion and our na­tion’s food pro­duc­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties.’’

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