Knowles faces MGCC questions
THE Murray Group of Concerned Communities (MGCC) hosted a meeting with Murray Darling Basin Authority chairman Craig Knowles in Deniliquin in Friday.
Mr Knowles responded to a request by the MGCC to provide a briefing about the current status of the draft Murray Darling Basin Plan, following reports indicating the Authority was seeking to return 2800GL of water to the
‘‘The meeting was productive and we have committed to continue and expand our dialogue with the Authority on a variety of topics, all related to the draft plan’s development - about which many questions remain,’’ Mr Simpson said.
‘‘We appreciate that Craig Knowles changed his schedule to give us his time today, recognising how important this issue is to our community.’’
Mr Simpson said the issue of deliverability is still of major concern to the region and the group was reassured to hear that the Authority is undertaking modelling to take into consideration the delivery constraints.
‘‘In our mind the guide (to the basin plan) was based around flooding virgin wetlands, taking no consideration of the third party impacts and the natural restrictions of the river, like the Barmah Choke,’’ he said.
‘‘We are glad to hear this is now being recognised and addressed and we look forward to seeing and judging the results.’’
Mr Knowles also explained his concept for the implementation of the basin plan, saying it is proposed to be a staged process to 2019.
‘‘There will be a mechanism for a stocktake in 2015 to provide the opportunity for communities to prove that ecological objectives are being met with less water and properly accounting for savings created by infrastructure and rule changes,’’ Mr Simpson said.
‘‘The idea of a stocktake or review is positive, and one which the MGCC supports in principle.
‘‘However, we need to see how it sits in the legal document. We need to know it is legally robust and that the basin plan will be adjusted in accordance with the outcomes of it.’’
The Silver Fox Quartet in Finley recently.