A coalition of a dozen industry and community groups - including Cotton Australia - has rejected proposed changes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, saying the proposal to reduce the water recovery target from 390 GL to 320 GL in the north would still take too much water from production and hurt communities as a result.
Cotton Australia caught up with Dick Estens AO, grower, irrigator, businessman and founder of the Aboriginal Employment Strategy from Moree NSW, on the impacts of water recovery in Northern NSW and across the BasinMr Estens says that when governments take water from rural communities, everyone suffers.
“We farmers play a long game. The more water you take off us, the less business you can do,” Mr Estens says.
These impacts may include full-time job losses of up to 35 per cent in some communities.
“If the [Murray-Darling Basin] Authority takes more off the community, obviously it will affect the community. It annoys me that we have this process that every five years they’re going to have a review and take more water off you. They’re working off a five year timeframe for thousands of years [of river cycles].”
In the coming months, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority will make a critical decision about the future of the Northern Basin.
Between the 30th November and the 9th of December, the MDBA will hold 11 community meetings across northern NSW and southern Queensland. We encourage irrigators, business owners and members of the broader community to attend these meetings so that the MDBA can hear your views and concerns.
Click here to find your nearest community meeting
Click here to learn more about the #MoreThanFlow campaign