THE NSW government is threatening to go it alone and introduce a capon water buybacks after a finalMurray-Darling Basin Plan failed to introduce such a measure.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke signed off on a newmanagement plan for the Murray-Darling Basin yesterday, which will return 2750 gigalitres of surface water each year to the environment.
Speaking in the NSW Parliament, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner expressed his government’s
disappointment at the plan, and in particular Mr Burke’s refusal tointroduce a cap on water buybacks.
NSW has been calling for a3 per cent, 10-year cap for eachvalley, saying it would help Basin communities adjust to the changes.
“This government is in the process of studying the detail and implications of the final plan,
however, our initial reaction is that it is not acceptable to NSW,”Mr Stoner told Parliament.
“A binding cap will force the commonwealth to work harder oninfrastructure projects to deliver water savings, rather than falling back on lazy and destructivebuybacks.
“My message to Tony Burke is this: if you don’t put in place your own cap, you might find that NSW does indeed take your advice and take things into our own hands.”
Mr Stoner described the plan as “a politically driven outcome”.
“It is a plan for Labor’s marginal seats in South Australia,” he said.
The NSW Farmers’ Association has said the plan was unlikely to earn the support of its members. It is in the process of reviewing the plan’s details, but president Fiona Simson warned unless the association’s key expectations had been met it would be opposed.
“It would pain me to oppose a plan that had the potential to deliver so much for Basin communities,” she said.
“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 satisfyingthe South Australiangovernment.”
The Murray-Darling Basin covers three-quarters of NSW, and according to NSW Farmers 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.
Murray-Darling Basin Plan
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.