Deniliquin farmers John Bradford and Louise Burge to represent the region in Melbourne on Thursday.SOPHIE BURGE August 20, 2014 3:30am
Deniliquin farmers John Bradford and Louise Burge will attend a roundtable meeting in Melbourne on Thursday which they hope will lead to alterations of the Water Act 2007.
Both local food producers believe this is an opportunity to rectify some ‘‘mistakes’’ in the Act.
Mr Bradford and Mrs Burge will represent Southern Riverina Irrigators and Murray Valley Private Diverters respectively.
The meeting has been called by the independent Water Act 2007 review panel.
Mrs Burge said because the Water Act directly guides the Murray-Darling Basin Plan process, she believes there is an obligation to ‘‘get it right’’.
‘‘The Water Act 2007 and the resulting Murray-Darling Basin Plan are costly mistakes to the long term economic and social interests of Australia, and the full effects of this are still to be realised.
‘‘Some changes can be made now and it’s vital that irrigation and local business concerns are heard.
‘‘Most legislation has a review period and the timeframe and parameters for a review of the Water Act was established back when the Act was originally drafted in 2007.
‘‘It’s a concern that when the Act was developed the draftspeople also wrote in the parameters for how any future review could occur, so we are confined to those original review terms.
‘‘While the parameters for this review may be limited, politicians need to recognise the concerns of the communities most impacted.
‘‘They do have a chance to rectify serious mistakes in the Water Act 2007, it’s just a question of will.’’
Irrigators have long argued that the Act is too heavily weighted toward the environment, therefore skewing the outcomes of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
The plan recommends the removal of up to at least 2750 gigalitres of food-producing irrigation water for environmental outcomes.
Mr Bradford said irrigators were already seeing the effects of the plan, with water prices being pushed up because of its associated uncertainties.
‘‘A review of the Act should be an opportunity to ensure a balance between social, economic and environmental values on water decisions in the Murray-Darling Basin,’’ Mr Bradford said.
‘‘The Water Act and basin plan are affecting the price of water on temporary water markets.
‘‘Too much water is being taken out of the consumptive pool and converted to environmental flows; as water becomes more scarce this is affecting the price.
‘‘Last year, temporary water prices hit $118 in November and this was a year of full allocation.
‘‘What will happen when allocations are at 50 per cent or below and when the full scale of water entitlements still to leave the district comes to fruition?
‘‘Farmers trying to organise summer programs will look at selling water instead of growing crops; what does this say for the future of the Murray-Darling foodbowl?’’
The SAM Foundation has received a further philanthropic contribution of $1 million towards the new Shepparton Art Museum.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons scored a 20 point victory over the Myrtleford Saints at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga on Saturday.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
Two people have been arrested and thousands of dollars in drugs and property found in a major raid in Corop early Monday.
FOUR Rochester residents did more than their bit for women’s cancers mid last month when they trekked 60km around Melbourne to raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Tongala Football Club lost to Rumbalara in the Murray Netball League on Saturday by 14 points.
Four generations of Comi girls this Mother's Day
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
DESPITE criticism from within the community over a perceived lack of use, the O’Keefe Rail Trail has enjoyed good traffic over the past couple of weeks, with more to come.
Two recent council-approved planning applications for new depots as part of a new logistics and transport hub in Strathmerton will begin construction soon, with representatives from both companies inspecting the site.
School fundraises for student with leukaemia.
Fonterra suppliers are reeling after the announcement of a big cut in the milk price from $5.60/kg to $5 for the full current year.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.