A round-table in Melbourne this week to discuss the 2014 Water Act Review will be the only opportunity of its kind for lobby groups and stakeholders to put their views to the expert panel led by barrister Eamonn Moran QC.CATHY WALKER August 19, 2014 3:12am
A round-table in Melbourne this week to discuss the 2014 Water Act Review will be the only opportunity of its kind for lobby groups and stakeholders to put their views to the expert panel led by barrister Eamonn Moran QC.
‘‘This was the review we had to have: the other one was done in a fair bit of haste,’’ VFF Water Council chairman Richard Anderson said on Friday.
‘‘We now need to know who’s responsible for what and who’s paying for what.’’
The VFF’s submission to the review was under the National Farmers’ Federation umbrella, and Mr Anderson said Thursday’s meeting would be an opportunity for the review panel to flesh out points raised, and to ask equation.
Seventy-five written submissions to the Water Act review were received by the July 4 closing date.
Murray Irrigation, led by Anthony Couroupis, told the review it was imperative the Murray-Darling Basin Plan be allowed to be finalised, implemented and fully operational for an appropriate period of time before it was reviewed.
‘‘Communities in the Murray-Darling Basin have now been through three decades of water reforming, commencing with the cap on diversions in the 1990s, and are now seeking a period of stability to allow businesses to adjust to the new operating environment the plan has created,’’ Mr Couroupis wrote.
The Victorian Government’s submission found the act in its current form presented many areas that were crying out for streamlining.
In announcing the review earlier this year, Parliamentary Secretary to the Environment Minister, Simon Birmingham, said the government was committed to implementing the Murray-Darling Basin Plan ‘‘on time and in full’’ to achieve positive outcomes for communities and the environment.
‘‘The review will look at opportunities for simplifying the regulatory burden on both industry and water managers, consistent with our overall focus on cutting red tape,’’ Senator Birmingham said.
And on that topic, many submissions to the review had more questions than answers. The Australian Dairy Industry Council and Dairy Australia said it was too early to understand if the long-term Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs) were being met.
‘‘This volume will be determined by a complex combination of water savings, environmental offset works, the review of northern basin SDLs, and constraints management, all of which remain in flux,’’ the agencies said.
‘‘It will also be determined by an adjustment methodology that lacks the transparency required to engender stakeholder confidence.’’
Goulburn Valley Environment Group mourned the post-election demise of the National Water Commission as an independent arbiter of review of the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
It said political pressure connected with water trading by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder highlighted the need for the Water Act to reflect that considerations related to the sale of water did not involve social and economic considerations and were confined solely to increasing the environmental outcomes.
A Goulburn Valley winery has tasted a trifecta of success after being inducted into the state’s tourism hall of fame.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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