The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) is extremely concerned that the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement has resulted in less water being available to the NSW Murray following the 15th October water allocation statements.
Mr Jeremy Morton, President of the RGA, stated, “It is intolerable that the current water sharing framework has resulted in the NSW share of the available water in the Murray system being reduced by 40,000ML. In its simplest terms South Australia's bucket of water has been full since April, the Victorian bucket continues to fill while the New South Wales bucket has a hole in it.”
There has been significant water reform over the past 40 years including a number of variations to the Murray Darling Agreement and it is becoming clear that these incremental changes have impacted on water availability for the NSW Murray.
“The RGA is convinced that a myriad of small and not so small changes to rules and codifying of water sharing arrangements is significantly impacting the share of the water resource allocated to NSW.” Mr Morton said.
The RGA wants the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council (MinCo) to acknowledge the impacts and for conversation to begin about how the water resources can be shared more equitably.
“This conversation will be a difficult one and and a good starting point is for MinCo to acknowledge that concessions have been made over many decades by NSW which have led to this intolerable situation.” We ask that MinCo commit to renegotiating provisions of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement to address the inequity of the current water sharing arrangements.” Mr Morton concluded.