The National Farmers Federation has welcomed the release of the Murray Darling Basin Social and Economic Assessment Panel Draft Report.
Led by an independent panel comprised of Basin industry leaders, the report highlights the experiences of communities and how they have been affected by the myriad of reforms to water management in the Basin.
“The report’s findings are similar to the messages the NFF heard on our tour across the Basin last month: there is a need to bring communities back to the heart of the conversations and actions that ultimately impact their futures.”
Mr Mahar said Murray-Darling Basin communities had undergone profound change in recent years.
“Technological change; shifts in consumer demand; water trade reform and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan have driven change in many communities, both positive and negative.
“The issues the consultation seeks to disentangle are deeply complex,” Mr Mahar said.
The report provides 48 findings and 20 draft recommendations.
The recommendations focus on:
- Improving engagement processes with rural and regional communities.
Recognising the harm that poorly constructed reform can cause.
- Supporting and investing in basin communities to ensure they can survive and thrive into the future.
- Pragmatic solutions to implement the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Mr Mahar said the NFF, through its member-driven Water Committee, looked forward to examining in detail, the findings and recommendations of the report.
“The right balance between Basin-wide policy and individual community impact is always difficult.
“This report is one more report amongst the vast number of reports that have been released to date.
“Governments need to understand they have a job to do to provide certainty to all communities and we look forward to working with them to appropriately implement the recommendations from the previous 40 reports,” Mr Mahar said.