A government program which will see up to 50 gigalitres of water bought from Goulburn-Murray Water irrigators has drawn sharp criticism from a district group.By Trent Horneman
Campaspe Concerned Citizens will protest in front of Member for Rodney Paul Weller’s Echuca office on Friday morning.
The group will protest the National Party’s response to irrigation channel reform as part of Goulburn-Murray Water’s irrigation modernisation project.
The protest, at Percy St Echuca, is on Friday from 11.30am to 12.30pm.
Earlier today, the Riverine Herald reported the Victorian and Federal governments set their sights on irrigation water.
The governments have launched a Strategic Purchase Program to buy irrigation water from Goulburn-Murray Water irrigators on a spur channel.
The Federal Government needs between 25 and 50 gigalitres of water to help fulfil its environmental water allocation set out in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Echuca Village irrigators, who are on a spur channel, met last week to voice their desire to keep their irrigation water.
Many irrigators felt they would be forced to hand over their irrigation water because their farms were too small.
Mr Weller said the program was a chance to offer eligible irrigators a chance to sell their water rather than pay steep costs for connecting to backbone channels.
He said neither the state or federal government would pressure irrigators to give up their water.
‘‘For some people, it might not be viable to have irrigation water,’’ he said.
‘‘The Federal Government has agreed to pay above market price for water to help farmers make the transition into dryland farming.’’
Mr Weller said the offer was to promote an efficient irrigation network.
‘‘Everyone can make their own decisions,’’ he said.
‘‘This is about maximising efficiency.
‘‘It is not the ‘Swiss cheese’ approach to water buybacks the Federal Government had used in the past.’’
Victorian Water Minister Peter Walsh said the offers were open to eligible spur channel irrigators from the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District areas of Central Goulburn, Murray Valley, Loddon Valley, Rochester-Campaspe, Shepparton and Torrumbarry.
‘‘The program will offer frequent opportunities for sales in the coming months,’’ he said.
‘‘This is just one of the sensible outcomes Victoria pursued during the Basin plan process on behalf of communities in northern Victorian communities.
‘‘This program aligns with Victoria’s substantial investment in irrigation modernisation and on-farm water efficiency programs and will offer a fair deal to irrigators.’’
Federal Water Minister Tony Burke said the Connections Project was the largest Federal Government investment in irrigation infrastructure, with more than $2
‘‘Last year we locked down the Murray-Darling Basin Plan,’’ Mr Burke said.
‘‘That locks in the health of the Basin and ensures the reform is law.
‘‘These projects are how the plan translates from a document to resilience for the rivers.’’
Shepparton District Junior Football League has again adjusted its under-14 structure with the clubs informed of the change late last week.
May 2013 will be forever remembered as the month soccer truly become an integral part of the junior sporting culture in Yarrawonga.
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
Bunnaloo and Mathoura are exploring the possibility of a merger, while Deniliquin may look to enter a team in the competition.
A Shepparton firm has been awarded part of the $2.2 million Rochester Reserve project contract.
Campaspe Shire Council's draft budget released today is pitched on delivering three key focus areas - people, place and prosperity.
Seymour were beaten by 45 points in the grand final replay against Tatura at Kings Park on Saturday.
Graham Gene Potter, 55, has been on the run since 2010 and police believe he could be in the Riverina area.
A pair of Costerfield farmers remain concerned about the quality of their water supply should a mine build its proposed evaporation ponds nearby.
Cobram fruit growers sacked by SPC Ardmona remain in limbo as they wait for confirmation on assistance packages they hope will help relieve the pressure of lost business.
Organisers of the 15th Deniliquin Ute Muster has confirmed International country music superstar Alan Jackson is this year's headline act.
About 1000 SPC Ardmona workers, orchardists, politicians and community members rallied at Shepparton Showgrounds last Thursday to support local fruit growers and processors.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
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.