AUSTRALIA - Producer lobbying group, New South Wales Farmers (NSW), have said that the water management framework, Murray Darling Basin Plan, must meet their key expectations upon reviewing it or they will not support the plan.
“The Murray Darling Basin includes some of the most strategically important land and water
resources for agriculture in the country. We are in this for the long run," said NSW Farmers' President Fiona Simpson.
“We will be reviewing the final plan in detail over the coming days, but unless our key expectations have been met, it is unlikely that the plan will have our support.”
The Murray Darling Basin covers three quarters of NSW. It produces over one third of Australia’s food supply; produces 95 per cent of Australian oranges; supports 28 per cent of the nation’s cattle herd, 45 per cent of sheep and 62 per cent of pigs.
Ms Simson said it is important to acknowledge how far we’ve come in the five years we have been debating this issue. Compulsory buybacks are off the table, significant infrastructure investment is being delivered and previous water savings made by our innovative members have been recognised.
“It would pain me to oppose a plan that had the potential to deliver so much for basin communities," Ms Simpson declared.
“Our members live and work in the basin and we all proudly contribute to its health. Whether we can support the plan or not will come down to whether the Federal Government values our contribution to the social, economic and environmental future of the basin as highly as satisfying the South Australian Government.”
The government has accepted the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s recommendation of a basin plan that returns 2750GL of surface water to the environment. The plan will come into effect in 2019.
Stating that the basin includes some of the most strategically important land and water resoruces in the country, Mr Simpson concluded that they are committed to overseeing the plan for the long run.
Further ReadingYou can view the full Murray Darling Basin Plan by clicking here.
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