A new version of the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan put forward by the Murray Darling Basin Authority on Monday has drawn criticism from basin community representatives.RENEE THOMPSON August 9, 2012 4:24am
A new version of the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan put forward by the Murray Darling Basin Authority on Monday has drawn criticism from several basin community representatives.
Instead of the previous 2750Gl target, the new draft proposes a water recovery target of between 2400Gl and 3200Gl, which would be adjusted based on water-saving measures.
Member for Rodney Paul Weller and the National Farmers’ Federation have added their voices to a number of state and federal leaders critical of the new draft.
On Tuesday, Mr Weller echoed Victorian Water Minister Peter Walsh’s comments that the MDBA’s latest draft did not sufficiently address the issues.
Mr Weller said the revised basin plan would cost hundreds of jobs in northern Victoria and was ‘‘unacceptable’’.
‘‘If you take another 300-400Gl of water out of northern Victoria, that is the ‘death knell’ for a number of communities,’’ he said.
‘‘That amount of water would produce enough milk for two milk factories.’’
NFF president Jock Laurie said the new draft failed to find the crucial balance called for by various irrigator groups, the community and last month’s Ministerial Council consensus document.
‘‘A month ago we welcomed the Ministerial Council’s directive to the authority that more attention be paid to ways to maximise the river systems’ efficiency through infrastructure, environmental works and measures and river operations,’’ he said.
‘‘The ministers called for an adjustment mechanism that would reduce the amount of water needed for the environment through improving the efficient use of water already in the system.
‘‘Investing in infrastructure, environmental works and measures and efficient river operations would make the water in the system work harder and, as a result, the sustainable diversion limit would decrease.
‘‘Yet from Monday’s report we can only conclude that this adjustment mechanism has been turned into an opportunity to take more water from the system, claiming that infrastructure would increase the sustainable diversion limit.
‘‘The NFF rejects using irrigation infrastructure to increase the limit.’’
However, Federal Water Minister Tony Burke, speaking to ABC Rural on Tuesday, said the new draft did include a sustainable adjustment mechanism that would allow irrigators to meet the same outcomes with less water taken away.
He said there was a ‘‘critical rule’’ to whether or not the figure was adjusted down to 2400Gl or up to 3200Gl.
‘‘The critical rule, if the number goes down, is you still have to be meeting the same environmental outcomes, and that allows for environmental works and measures to be there as a way of working effectively, in place of buybacks. ‘‘(And) if the number goes up, it can only be done in ways that don’t have negative impacts on communities.’’
Mr Burke said the latest plan was ‘‘an improvement on the last draft’’ while suggesting there was still work that needed to be done ‘‘until it’s right’’.
State governments have three weeks to respond to the latest draft.
Shepparton East people are being invited to play a role in shaping their community.
Yarrawonga’s Bre Elliott played the most “consistent golf of her life” over three days to win the Fuccillo Kia Championship at Capital Hills by carding a 2-under 69 on the final day.
Heather Donaldson was re-elected president of Tatura Hospital Ladies Auxiliary at the annual general meeting on Thursday, which was attended by 33 people.
BRUCE Mundie claimed top honours in the bridleless freestyle category at the NSW Reining Horse Association State Show in Tamworth over the weekend.
THE 2015 National Blood Donor Week festivities will make the Rochester region Victoria’s new red light district.
Community workshop to consider issues to help form Campaspe digital strategy
Heather Stamp brings a long experience of the Salvation Army to Seymour.
Berrigan Shire Council have approved a development application for six more independent living units to add to Berrigan’s Amaroo Self Care Unit block.
THEY may be a familiar sight across the Heathcote district, but some of the much-loved birds in the region are in decline.
It was a field of emerald at the Soroptimist International of Cobram Barooga’s annual lunch on Friday, where diners enjoyed the craic at the Irish-themed event.
Deniliquin and district boasted two major winners at the Australian Sheep and Wool Expo at Bendigo from July 17 to 19.
Riverine Plains is set to hold the first in its series of farm walks for the 2015 season as part of its research into stubble retained cropping systems.
The News magazines are online - read the high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for 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.