The Murray-Darling Basin Plan was signed into law by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke yesterday, following years of debate about the future of the river system.DARREN LINTON November 23, 2012 4:40am
After years of debate, public hearings and reports, Federal Water Minister Tony Burke used Twitter to announce the Murray-Darling Basin Plan had been adopted and signed into law.
‘‘The Murray-Darling Basin Plan is now law,’’ Mr Burke tweeted just after noon yesterday with an accompanying photo of himself and Prime Minister Julia Gillard signing the documents.
A formal statement and public release of the final documents followed.
‘‘The government has accepted the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s recommendation of a Basin plan that returns 2750
‘‘It sets up a mechanism which allows governments to improve environmental, social or economic outcomes, provided that improving one does not sacrifice others.’’
The southern Basin Victoria zone will have to contribute 425.3
This zone is made up of the Broken, Campaspe, Goulburn, Kiewa, Loddon, Ovens and Victorian Murray irrigation systems.
The plan comes after more than than 100 years of disagreement.
‘‘The government has also committed to provide an additional $1.77
Mr Burke said for decades states had treated rivers as if they ended at state borders.
Consequently, consistent water overallocation and mismanagement had seriously degraded the system’s health.
‘‘By the time the last drought hit, the Basin’s ecosystems had essentially been living in drought conditions and had no resilience to cope,’’ he said.
‘‘Only a national plan was going to address the many problems fragmented administration brought. That’s what this government has delivered today in this Plan.
‘‘We have done everything we can to minimise the impact on communities short of saying we will make a compromise on the health of the system because history has shown that if you negotiate too hard against a river, it negotiates back in a completely uncompromising way and that’s in no-one’s interest.’’
Mr Burke said the plan would deliver vital additional water to the Basin, including to 40
It will also flush an average of two million tonnes of salt from the Basin each year.
‘‘This is enough salt to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground and it’s the volume required to ensure the system is healthy,’’ he said.
Despite the shift in water use, Mr Burke said the plan would also ensure strong regional communities and sustainable food production.
‘‘I have been clear from the start that this government intended to deliver reform that restores the rivers to health and ensured strong regional communities and a vibrant irrigation industry,’’ Mr Burke said.
‘‘That’s why the government committed to bridge the gap to the sustainable diversion limits, which includes spending $5.2 billion on irrigation infrastructure, which is contributing to increased irrigation productivity and providing valuable employment benefits during design and construction phases.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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