McCormack, farmers welcome Coalition water tender

THE Federal Government’s announcement to trade some Commonwealth water holdings has been welcomed by The Nationals’ Member for Riverina.

"This announcement is a very important step for irrigators and river communities," Mr McCormack said. 

"It will be beneficial for the Murray-Darling Basin, and trading is something I raised with both the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Simon Birmingham, when the Coalition came in to Government last year." 

Senator Birmingham this week announced the Government would place an additional 10 gigalitres from its water allocation up for tender in New South Wales. 

Murrami rice grower Debbie Buller said common sense has prevailed with this announcement. 

"While this is obviously in the Gwydir Valley, it makes sense to use the additional water allocation for productive uses in a season where the environment has already been looked after," Mrs Buller said. 

"This is an allocation for one year and is a good policy in times where there is the capacity to do so." 
Benerembah rice and grape producer, John Bonetti, also endorsed the sale of Commonwealth water holdings. 

"Given the recent hot weather in the Riverina, this announcement gives us some confidence," Mr Bonetti said. 

"Demand for water has been extreme because of the weather, but if you can keep water up to the crops they do not seem to be suffering in the heat." 

Tenders for the additional water allocation have opened.

Cristy Houghton