Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Finley's Muirhead wants basin plan action

Shooters and Fishers party Southern Riverina branch chairman Jim Muirhead says the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is still not good enough for NSW.

December 24, 2012 4:10am

Mr Muirhead said the NSW Government must stand firm against the Commonwealth’s ‘‘flawed’’ basin plan, because as it stands now regional and rural NSW will be a major loser.

The plan recommends 2750 gigalitres of water be removed from productive use for the environment and was passed into law last month.

Legislation to recover another 450GL is also currently before the Senate.

Designed to improve the health of the basin, Mr Muirhead said there can be no solution to the basin problems without South Australia’s Lower Lakes included in the plan.

‘‘At the moment they are not included, and so the entire plan is flawed. We need a plan which looks at the whole length of the river systems in the basin,’’ he said.

‘‘The Shooters and Fishers Party has been the only one standing against this plan from its first release. Our Parliamentary representatives gave notice in the last Parliament of a Bill to have the state withdraw from the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, if the Federal Government refused to amend the Commonwealth Water Act.

‘‘We always recognised the Agreement was unfair to NSW and our rural communities.

‘‘The State Government says it is not happy with the current plan and will not agree to, or implement it, unless substantial changes are made.

‘‘I hope they are true to their word.’’

Mr Muirhead said that water is the lifeblood of country NSW.

He said once the water is taken away, so too are the jobs which then ultimately cease to exist.

‘‘This is not what we want, particularly in the southern Riverina,’’ Mr Muirhead said.

The State Government must make sure our country towns are not destroyed because of the lack of water.’’

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