The National Party’s rejection of further water recovery up to another 450 GL from the productive pool is welcome news, finally acknowledging our industries and communities cannot endure further negative impacts on our economic viability.
The number one priority for the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia’s (RGA’s) 2019 federal election campaign, was to avoid further productive water recovery.
On the weekend the National Party met for its annual federal council, where discussions relating to water and the Murray Darling Basin Plan dominated the council's agenda.
The Victorian deputy leader Steph Ryan challenged Water Resources Minister David Littleproud by floating a motion opposing a third leg of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, which allows an additional 450 gigalitres of water to be recovered conditional on no negative socio-economic impacts.
Whilst Minister Littleproud has shown his commitment to the Basin Plan, and has been adamant there won’t be any deviations, Saturday’s result showed it’s far from a universal view in his party.
The RGA welcomes that the National Party has acknowledged the importance of the social and economic tests to our communities rejecting any further water recovery. Our businesses, schools, family farms and wider communities cannot endure further economic and social hardship.
The RGA will continue to work on behalf of our communities, to ensure the implementation of the MDBP does not further erode agricultural production in our valleys by focusing on our key points:
• Seeking constructive, collaborative and innovative solutions that avoid further productive water recovery.
• Providing farmers, industries and communities with the confidence to invest in the future
• Maintaining the current 1500GL cap on buybacks.
• Ensuring recently agreed Neutrality Test criteria is applied accurately across Basin States
Belinda Lambert, RGA Communications Manager - 0488 071 165
Rob Massina, RGA President – 0448 999 288