Infrastructure over buybacks is key
THE Nationals’ Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, has welcomed the Government’s Water Recovery Strategy recommendation that investment be made in on-farm efficiencies and infrastructure, rather than buybacks.
“Through moving the disallowance motion on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in late 2012, I was able to secure a commitment from the Coalition that buybacks would be capped at 1500 gigalitres,” Mr McCormack said.
The Water Recovery Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin, which will be released today, prioritises water recovery in the Basin on infrastructure over buybacks, ensuring Basin communities’ economic and social fabric whilst also allowing for sufficient consideration of the environment.
“This announcement is something I have fought for over many years. Water is the lifeblood of irrigation communities in the Riverina, and maintaining an understanding of the economic and social implications of the Basin Plan is critical.”
Mr McCormack also welcomed the Federal Coalition Government’s investment in on-farm water efficiencies.
“By prioritising more than $2.3 billion in funding for rural water use and infrastructure over the forward estimates, we are committing to keeping the Coleambally and Murrumbidgee Irrigation Areas and Murray-Darling Basin as the nation’s food and fibre bowl,” Mr McCormack said.
“Through saving water with infrastructure and on-farm efficiencies as part of this program, we are confident the final buyback will be around 1300 gigalitres, which is well within the 1500 Gl cap we announced in 2012.”
Further information on the Water Recovery Strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin can be found here: http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/water.