There is a threat of extra water buy-backs if the Federal Government collects another 450 gigalitres (GL) of water under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, according to the Murray Group of Concerned Communities (MGCC).November 15, 2012 4:12am
Federal Water Minister Tony Burke recently announced the water would come from about $1.5 billion worth of on-farm efficiency works, and not a general buy-back tender.
However, while a general tender has been ruled out, MGCC chair Bruce Simpson said they have ‘‘unofficially’’ heard there could still be buy-backs.
Under current on-farm infrastructure deals, if a farmer expects to save a certain amount of water in efficiencies, 50 per cent of that must be signed over to the government for environmental purposes.
However, Mr Simpson said that may not be the case when the government sources its 450GL.
‘‘What I’ve been told is they (government) have the potential to access 100 per cent of the [efficiency] savings, not 50 per cent as is the current arrangement,’’ he said.
Ms Simpson said if the landholder refuses to relinquish the other 50 per cent, the government will go into the market and buy that volume of water instead.
‘‘That’s not good,’’ he said.
‘‘We want no further buy-back. Buy-back is the thing that undermines our communities.’’
MGCC member Perin Davey said the details of the proposal were still unclear, saying ‘‘nothing has been released yet’’.
‘‘What Tony Burke has said is that where the 450GL is identified to come from efficiencies, there may be purchases that are required to complement those efficiencies,’’ she said.
Ms Davey believes the information about buy-backs came from private conversations Mr Burke had with irrigator stakeholders.
She also reiterated the MGCC would not support such a move.
The basin plan is expected to divert 2750GL of productive water to the environment, with an adjustment mechanism that could allow between 2400GL to 3200GL to be diverted.
The diversion can only be raised by 450GL to 3200GL if there are no negative social or economic impacts on communities.
In Mr Burke’s recent announcement about the government’s intention to divert 3200GL, he said the efficiency measures will have neutral or positive social and economic outcomes.
However, Mr Simpson said the plan going to 2750GL and beyond presents significant third party risks — ‘‘and it’s up to the community to hold the government accountable’’.
‘‘It’s already in the plan up to 2750GL; there should be no third party impact,’’ he said.
‘‘To move beyond 2750GL, one of the criteria is there can be no third party impact, which includes social and economic [impacts].
‘‘It will be us, the community, that has to keep reminding them of that. That will be our challenge. And it will be a challenge. So we’re not happy about it (increasing the diversion to 3200GL).
‘‘We’re the ones left to say ‘no, it will have an impact’. We’ve got to argue and debate it and prove it and use our resources. That in itself is a third party impact.’’
The sky was the limit when it came to learning about the Royal Flying Doctor Service this week.
Jake Thompson has an eagle eye and a steady hand and he put both to good use recently when he won the U15 Australian Snooker Championships, held in Adelaide.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
SUZANNE’S School of Ballet has once again proved its place in the ballet world with 19 of its 30 exam students blitzing their recent Cecchetti ballet exams in Melbourne.
PLANS are in full swing for the 18th annual Farm and Road Safety Expo in Rochester.
Merrigum’s rise to prominence in the Kyabram District League premiership battle reached new heights in Saturday’s 16th round when it became the first side to lower Avenel’s colours this season.
Local export Willie Wheeler dominating at VFL level
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
HEATHCOTE is being swamped by Pokémon and wannabe trainers, armed with smart phones and iPads, who are trying to catch ‘em all.
Children have been treated to a journey through their imaginations while being encouraged to unleash their inner writers at Barooga Library.
Sixteen local students competed at the NSW PSSA and CHS State Cross Country Championships in Sydney.
SPC will abolish its internal sales team and reduce executive numbers in the latest chapter of the company’s ongoing restructuring.
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.