Petition to #KeepTheCap on Basin buybacks

The Senate is considering shock legislation which would remove a critical safeguard for Basin communities.

We need your help to stop this half-baked idea in its tracks. Please inform yourself about this issue, and sign our petition below to demonstrate your support for Basin towns.


What is the 1,500GL cap?

The 1,500GL cap on water buybacks was introduced in 2013 in recognition of the toll buybacks were having on Basin communities. It places a limit on the amount of water the Government can purchase back from irrigators.

Instead, the Government must invest in water efficiency projects which return the same volume of water to the environment – without damaging the economies of Basin towns.

This policy is a genuine win-win: the same volume of water is secured for the environment, and rural communities can continue to produce great Aussie food and fibre.


Why is removing the cap now such a bad idea?

This proposal is being driven purely by pre-election politics, with no regard for the impact it will have on Basin communities. Removing the cap would be a shocking decision for three simple reasons:

1. The Basin is currently in drought

We would be making this policy on the run, in the midst of an historic drought event. This would further distort our water markets, and damage rural economies at the worst possible time.

2. It ignores the Productivity Commission

The Basin Plan has just been subject to a 5-yearly independent review by the Productivity Commission. The Productivity Commission made no recommendation to lift the cap on buybacks.

3. There is no practical need

We’re currently sitting below the cap with only 1,200GL acquired, so there is no pressing need to remove it. Any urgency is driven purely by pre-election politics, not policy.


How can you help?

We need to send a clear message that Australians will not support this brand of cheap politics at the expense of rural communities.

Please add your signature below, and share this page on social media to encourage others to do the same.

Petition to #KeepTheCap on Basin buybacks

I do not support the move to abandon the 1,500GL cap on buybacks under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

This proposal could not come at a worse time for Basin communities, and ignores the independent advice of the Productivity Commission.

Adopting policy on the run like this threatens to undermine the integrity of the Plan and could have unforeseen consequences in our water markets.

I am calling on all members of Parliament to vote against this proposal.

**your signature**

1,392 signatures = 93% of goal

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Latest Signatures
1,392 Kathy D. Dec 28, 2019
1,391 Travis J. Dec 16, 2019
1,390 Alan M. Nov 03, 2019
1,389 Frank G. Oct 19, 2019
1,388 Adam M. Aug 12, 2019
1,387 Luke S. May 16, 2019
1,386 Kylie B. Apr 10, 2019
1,385 Meg J. Apr 09, 2019
1,384 Kirsten R. Apr 08, 2019
1,383 Stephen M. Apr 07, 2019
1,382 Ian B. Apr 07, 2019
1,381 John D. Apr 07, 2019
1,380 Thomas Y. Apr 04, 2019
1,379 Penny Y. Apr 04, 2019
1,378 Lisa G. Mar 27, 2019




AustralianFarmers is an online community powered by the National Farmers' Federation.


  • Regional irrigation is national productivity keeping rural Australia busy happy and healthy. The environment needs to share the drought, it will survive as it has forever.
    The most important species we have is people, who live work and create in communities called towns. Many of them live further away on farms and grow lots of food which is exported to create national wealth employing many many families in the process. Irrigation creates thousands of hectares of wetlands, whilst providing productivity from the most efficient farmers in the world.
    Flowing valuable water out to sea for the environment during a serious drought is unforgivable!
    Signed Retired irrigator

  • If you reverse this. You will completely destroy dairy northern Victoria, which is traditionally the largest dairy region in Australia, let alone the other commodities. This will have a huge impact on Agriculture in the whole country. Just think how your cappuccinos or lattes will taste made of UHT milk that is imported from countries like China which grow the feed for their dairy cows in raw human sewage. This will have a huge impact of the health of the public who will all be going to the emergency departments with food poisoning!!! How many votes will you loose then in the long term!!! Remember, 1 in 4 people in the state of Victoria are indirectly employed thanks to dairy farming, then add all those gates and the votes of the dairy farmers into that as well. Hope you’re now scared of your job security!!!

  • Putting a buyer with bottomless pockets in the market place is unfair and will result in even more water being taken from productive uses despite the fact that irrigators have lifted productivity and efficiency immensely in the last decade. I am installing my 11th spray irrigation machine which has been a huge capital investment but it has enabled me to to surrender more the 200ML for the environment but a fair go is required. If more more water is acquired through buybacks, remaining irrigators will be hard pressed to pay the fixed costs of opoerating the storage and delivery infrastructure.

  • the people who vote to continue buy backs clearly would not be those who live in basin communities nor would they have any interest in farming to produce food . they are just ignorant to the simple facts that water efficiencies have all been achieved since 2013 and the drought is the reason for water shortages .labor and the greens are just vote searching from people in major cities who do not have any idea of the situation.

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