The latest changes to the Murray-Darling Basin plan have been welcomed by Melbourne University scientists, but they warn it is just the start of needed change.November 6, 2012 4:03am
University of Melbourne environmental scientists have welcomed the Federal Government’s new plan for the Murray-Darling Basin, but warned the devil would be in the detail.
The university’s School of Land and Environment hailed the Prime Minister’s announcement as a fair compromise of environmental and population needs.
But Agriculture and Food Systems Professor Snow Barlow warned it was just the beginning of the process.
‘‘All eyes will be on how this plan is implemented ahead of 2019, when all states become bound by it,’’ he said.
School dean Professor Rick Roush said there were two important components which must be part of the implementation plan, in addition to on-farm infrastructure and environmental works.
‘‘The communities which will sell irrigation water to the Commonwealth for this extra environmental water must be assisted to rapidly adjust to these changed circumstances,’’ he said.
‘‘We need research, extension and training programs to teach people how to use both irrigation water and environmental flows more efficiently,’’
Agriculture and Food Systems head Professor Frank Dunshea said Melbourne researchers recently developed management technologies and techniques to improve the productivity of irrigated dairy farms.
‘‘Together with the Murray Dairy farmers group, the university has a proposal before government for further funding to implement this research on the dairy farms across northern Victoria,’’ he said.
Prof Barlow said the proposed new water allocations opened the way for much more sophisticated management of water within the basin for triple-bottom-line outcomes.
‘‘However, considerably more research is required to develop the understanding, real-time information systems, water trading and management systems needed to ensure that the available water is put to the best possible effect,’’ he said.
‘‘The recent MDBA modelling that has led the realisation that a few big floods have much more biological impacts than a lot of small ones has just barely scratched the surface of the possibilities for water managers and farmers to work together in the basin.’’
Prof Roush said there was no time to waste.
‘‘It is imperative that this work is done, management systems are put in place and the farming communities and environmental managers are prepared for these changes before they are fully implemented in 2019.’’
A single-storey weatherboard house in Doyles Rd, Shepparton was gutted by fire on Saturday.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
Success at the regional schools soccer competition has earned the Echuca Primary School (208) girls side a spot at state games on Wednesday.
Julie Sands and Sheridan Clark have been kept busy, visiting Rochester recently yo dispense free coats to residents.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram school students take their books to the streets, dressing up for Community Reading Day.
Public interest to determine Deniliquin Town Hall refurbishment.
Milk co-operative, Murray Goulburn has posted a record financial result, recording an after tax profit of $29 million.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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