Most Deniliquin community members have welcomed the signing of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan agreement.TYLA HARRINGTON February 28, 2014 4:45am
The NSW Government has finally signed the Murray-Darling Basin Plan agreement.
NSW and Queensland were the last states to hold off on signing the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), which involves redirecting 2750 gigalitres of water from primary production for environmental purposes.
A commitment to cap water buybacks at 1500GL and prioritising water infrastructure programs are believed to be the reasons which prompted NSW to sign the agreement.
The historic plan was signed into law by the former Water Minister Tony Burke more than a year ago, with NSW only announcing its backing of the controversial plan yesterday morning.
Murray Valley Community Action Group chair Lester Wheatley welcomed the plan, and in particular the ‘‘capped water buybacks’’.
‘‘It’s good to see the (commonwealth water) buybacks are capped even though it is still a significant amount of water being removed from productive use,’’ he said.
‘‘The government has also emphasised that supporting infrastructure will be paramount to their endeavours.
‘‘It’s good they’ve adopted the plan and good they’ve signed it.
‘‘There’s still issues to be resolved but there’s now some certainty.’’
Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick (pictured) also welcomed the signing of the plan.
‘‘I’m pleased the signing of the plan has come to fruition,’’ Cr Renwick said.
‘‘Hopefully we will receive some of the funding that is expected to be made available for a natural gas connection to the region and get that project on the drawing board.’’
Deniliquin farmer Louise Burge, a vocal opponent of the plan, said the plan was still ‘‘based on misinformation and a political response to the drought’’.
She also said there were too many unresolved issues.
Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said there were two elements to the agreement that were crucial.
‘‘One is the commitment to cap water buybacks at 1500 gigalitres, which sets a definite marker for our irrigation sector — one they can actually work with,’’ she said.
‘‘Secondly, the potential boost to NSW river communities from the Economic Diversification Fund is enormous.
‘‘Locally, we already have some great ideas for the $32m that this deal will unlock and I look forward to working with both state and federal ministers to make them happen.
‘‘This is a really important day for the future of my electorate. As with the drought package announced earlier in the week, it clearly demonstrates this is a federal government which believes in agriculture and supporting growth in regional Australia.’’
Ms Ley hoped Deniliquin would have access to the funding which will now be available and that it may possibly lead to a natural gas connection to the area.
She says a feasibility study is still the first step to getting the connection.
The Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program funding is expected to be allocated now that NSW has signed on to the plan.
‘‘It’s no secret I’m a supporter of the possibility of bringing natural gas to the region,’’ she said.
‘‘If we can deliver that to the Central Murray it will make a huge difference in terms of job creation and value adding to local agriculture, both present and in the future.’’
~ more stories in Tuesday’s Pastoral Times.
Neighbourhood Watch Week will start with a sizzle — a sausage sizzle to be precise — at Sevens Creek Dve in Kialla.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
It was clear blue skies last Tuesday for the official launch of the Gargarro (pronounced Ga-gar-ro) Botanic Gardens in Girgarre.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
KATH Bubb has been recognised for 50 years of service with the Ballendella Red Cross.
IT EXPERTISE in Kyabram has received recognition after Advance Computing won a Microsoft Australia Partner Award in the excellence in regional area customer category.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
McIvor Creek – in and around Heathcote – has gone over its banks with all our recent rain, flooding streets and causing closures and detours.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
After a 30-year career as an accountant in Deniliquin, Peter Skipworth officially retires today.
Tuesday, August 16
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.