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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Federal election won't change Murray Group plans

The Murray Group of Concerned Communities is seeking an assurance from the Federal Coalition, in the lead up to the September federal election, that water recovery will not be dominated by water buy-backs.

February 6, 2013 3:43pm

The Murray Group of Concerned Communities is seeking an assurance from the Federal Coalition, in the lead up to the September federal election, that water recovery will not be dominated by water buy-backs.

Executive member Perin Davey said the election, which Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week announced would be September 14, would not likely change the Murray-Darling Basin Plan but perhaps how its recommendations will be rolled out.

‘‘All the election means is that people will be focussing on where the money is going,’’ Ms Davey said.

‘‘The basin plan is already supported by committed funding, but we will have to watch for contingency liability in going forward.

‘‘We have to ensure there are efficiencies taking place, not just the buying up of water.

‘‘Sussan Ley (Federal Member for Farrer) has given us her personal promise of this, but it doesn’t mean they (the Coalition Government) won’t look for savings elsewhere.’’

The day after the election was called last week, Ms Ley said water would be her top priority in 2013.

She said she was already seeking assurances on river heights and seeking briefing meetings with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Ms Ley said she would also assist in the development of new Coalition policies.

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan recommends the removal of 2750 gigalitres of productive water, which will be re-diverted for environmental projects.

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