Basin report must be released before Min-Co
12 December 2018
At the Murray-Darling Ministerial Council meeting in Melbourne on Friday, Basin Ministers will be making decisions on the important neutrality test that will determine the conditions under which water may be recovered towards an additional 450GL, under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
This ‘neutrality test’ needs to ensure water recovery projects only have positive or neutral social and economic impacts.
While Victoria’s irrigation communities have had their say, the independent report remains under lock and key.
This report, drafted by Sefton and Associates, contains information that Basin Ministers will base their decisions on, decisions which will determine the future of jobs and industries in Victoria’s Basin communities.
Water Minister Lisa Neville must listen to Basin communities and peak bodies, like the Australian Dairy Industry Council, that have called for Victorian irrigators to see this report, before she makes decisions based on its content.
Comment attributable to Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan
Communities should be given the opportunity to scrutinise the report and recommendations that will go to Basin Ministers before Friday’s meeting, so they can be confident their contributions have been accurately reflected.
It’s critical this neutrality test ensures that any water recovery will not cost jobs, reduce production or increase water bills in irrigation districts.
There’s one chance to get this right.
This report must be released so Victorian irrigators can have complete confidence Basin Ministers will be accurately informed of irrigator’s views to make a decision that’s in the best interests of Basin communities.