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.By Darren Linton
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.’’
Artist Nici Cumpston will hold a free Artist Talk at Shepparton Art Museum tonight, speaking about her body of work based around the Shepparton region.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
Police allege a man attempted to rob a Cobram supermarket today.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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