Basin Ministers – Don’t sell regional communities down the river

Photo by Graham Millar,
Photo by Graham Millar,

NSW Farmers’ Association is urging the Murray Darling Basin Briefing Ministerial Council to avoid inflicting further negative impacts on regional communities and industries in implementing the Basin Plan.

The Ministerial Council will meet tomorrow, Friday 17 March, to finalise offset projects.

NSW Farmers’ Association President, Derek Schoen, says Ministers have an excellent opportunity to negotiate a sensible outcome.

“Ministers must focus on delivering better and more efficient triple bottom line outcomes in negotiating the finalisation of Basin limits adjustments.

“Water recovery in NSW must stop. The 278GL of water already recovered from agricultural production in the Northern Basin has caused widespread devastation of regional communities.

“Southern Basin targets must consider the mounting evidence about the social and economic impacts of taking water out of production.      

“The approach of just adding water is not the answer to improving our rivers. The Government needs to focus on complimentary, non-flow measures that respond to the needs of the Basin's ecosystems, such as carp control and addressing cold water pollution.

“We are calling for balanced and reasonable consideration of all available evidence by Ministers. The consequences for regional communities and farming families of the decisions which will be made must be at the forefront of any plan going forward," Mr Schoen concluded.