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.
Shepparton businesses The Windscreen Savers and Makar Automotive were severely damaged in a blaze that was started by a welding operation.
Police investigating a break and enter at a Mulwala club more than 10 years ago are renewing their appeal for public assistance by releasing an image of a person they believe has information to assist them.
Tatura’s Victory Hall is set for a big year as preparations get under way to celebrate the hall’s 90th birthday in September.
Former district resident and award-winning television producer Joanna Werner will no doubt be shopping for a glitzy gown ahead of the Emmy Awards in New York on February 20.
Rochester Secondary College school captains Dom Atley and Tim Poole have been accepted to study biomedical science in the first step towards becoming doctors.
Will it be Merrigum or Lancaster?
Fire destroys key public buildings in Seymour
Finley Henry Matheson was bestowed one of the highest Australia Day honours.
Heathcote Hostel residents were treated to a visit from Heathcote’s favourite horse, Sub Zero, as part of Australia Day celebrations.
Recent weather conditions have come as a mixed blessing for farmers, with high rainfall and humidity providing a respite for irrigators as well as difficult growing and picking conditions for fruit growers.
Darren McLoughlin only started playing croquet seven years ago.
From orchards to harvest to shelves, a new exhibition will celebrate the Goulburn Valley’s iconic fruit industry. The Photos of the Fruit Industry exhibition will run as part of the SheppARTon Festival in March and aims to share memories and history of an industry that has shaped the region.
Former Benalla footballer Tom Rockliff has been named captain of the Brisbane Lions Football Club.
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