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.’’
Budding football and netball players were kicking and shooting goals on and off the field and court at Shepparton United's annual school holiday clinic.
With Dookie sitting fourth on the ladder the Bears expected a hard contest on their home deck and when they kicked the first two goals it was game on.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
If you ask Bill and Merle Harriss what they remember about their wedding day, the answer you get is an unusual one.
It is official, Rochester has a Red Hat Society.
Ky export gets first Navy Blues win.
Iconic building getting anew lease of life.
A beauty pamper day has raised a whopping $18k to assist local lady Terri Bevan with her ongoing medical costs associated with her brain tumour
The time has arrived for the district’s good Samaritans to donate their unwanted shoe boxes to the annual Samaritans’ Purse gift box program.
Moira Shire Council has adopted its 2015-16 budget, but perceived unfairness in the allocation of funding meant it was not passed unanimously.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The G-MW Murray gravity irrigation system has received 35 per cent and the Goulburn system 42 per cent of allocation from July 1.
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.