As a direct result of the Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP) the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District has already experienced the loss of at least 1,000 jobs and a loss of productivity of over $550 million per year, hence the continuation of the Plan and ignoring the socio-economic impacts will continue to place viability of communities and industry at risk.
“Council is calling for a review of the MDBP based on data now available following the Plan having being implemented over the past five years”, explains City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe. “Based on the outcomes to date there is the need and opportunity to review the Plan and ensure that decision-making is based on up-to-date information.
Compelled by recent political commentary in relation to the future of the Plan coupled with the available data, Cr Dennis Patterson as Council’s delegate of Region 2 of the Murray Darling Association (MDA) echoes Council’s concern and is also calling for a review to address a range of concerns including:
- Environmental damage from inter-valley flows on the Goulburn River;
- Potential for review of the socio-economic impact test, which could further impact on our region; and
- Non-strategic and unlimited water buy backs.
Research commissioned by the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) Water Leadership Group in 2016 found that the early stages of implementation of the Plan has led to:
- A 20 per cent reduction on average water use in the GMID, borne largely by the dairy sector;
- A resultant loss of $200 million per year in the value of farm gate production;
- A loss of $360 million in output value for the dairy processing sector; and
- A loss of $25 million in annual farm gate value for the mixed farming sector.
Council will now work with our community to advocate for a review of the Plan.