The MDBA has indicated that it will recommend the Federal Government strip even more water out of production in the Northern Murray-Darling Basin and continue to inflict unnecessary economic pain on irrigation dependent communities.
The MDBA proposes to reduce the total volume of planned recovery from 390GL to 320GL. To their credit, the MDBA has also said that a “Toolkit” of non-flow measures is important to achieving environmental outcomes.
But the message from Basin communities is simple: let's invest in non-flow options to improve the health of the Murray-Darling, and not add to the pain caused by the Basin Plan. Enough is enough – water recovery must stop.
On water buybacks in the Namoi, third generation Narrabri grower Matt Norrie says taking more productive water out of the system will lead to further socio-economic decline.
“As they take more productive water out, it’s not only the farmers that are going to miss out, it’s the businesses in town that will have reduced economic activity, too.”
“When people start leaving town, then so do your services as well.”
Mr Norrie has called on Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, to deliver a sustainable Basin Plan on three scores.
“A) to agriculture, B) to the communities that agriculture supports and that it needs, and C) to the environment as well.”
“There really needs to be that triple-bottom line.”
With just over a month to go in the Murray-Darling Basin Authority's Northern Basin Review consultation period, it is now critical for growers, others in the industry and community members to lodge a written submission. Head to the Australian Farmers #MoreThanFlow page to make a submission directly to the MDBA and tell them that enough is enough – water recovery must stop: www.farmers.org.au/MoreThanFlow