Time to fix basin plan

NSW Farmers is urging Basin Governments and farmers to work together to make sure that the Plan achieves the social, economic and the environmental outcomes that were promised.

NSW Farmers President James Jackson says many farming communities across the Murray Darling Basin are under immense strain as a result of the unparalleled drought.

“We know that the impacts of this drought are being made worse by a Murray Darling Basin Plan that is just not working for agriculture, Basin communities or the environment,” Mr Jackson said

“In times like this, it’s hard to think things could get any worse. But calls to ‘Can the Plan’ have the potential to put at risk the water property rights of farmers across the Basin and see more water removed from the consumptive pool.”

“We are asking government to act immediately to implement the recommendations of the Productivity Commission and fix the policy, funding and operational issues that were highlighted in the Five Year review of the Plan.”

Mr Jackson says NSW Farmers is working closely with government at every level to make sure that member policy shapes the future of water management in NSW.

“NSW Farmers supports the concept of a fair Plan that protects the viability of farming in the Basin and the fragile ecosystems that depend on the rivers. But we believe that the Plan is not delivering a fair deal for farmers.”

“Government must abandon plans to recover an additional 450GL from farmers – we know that this additional water cannot be recovered from the consumptive pool without profound disruption to regional communities.”

NSW Farmers is calling for rethinking of Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment projects to provide environmental outcomes without recovering more water from the consumptive pool.

“We are also seeking limitations to the expansion of irrigation development below the Barmah Choke which is threatening reliability for existing irrigation and causing significant environmental damage and a review of the viability of the environmental contributions made to South Australian lakes scheme.”

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