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The Basin Plan was always intended to be adaptive and to respond to new knowledge and science. 


The RGA welcomes the Federal Governments' commitment to stop water buybacks from farmers and put communities at the centre of water reform. This is a step in the right direction and in line with findings from the many reports and reviews that have been conducted.


The RGA, together with many other bodies and groups has long campaigned for a more adaptive and flexible approach to the implementation of the Basin Plan. “We also encourage Minister Pitt and Basin States to further consider and implement recommendations from the reviews already completed and those currently underway.” said Rob Massina, RGA President.


The RGA's policy position to stop buybacks is based on the fact that all water recovery from productive use results in negative social and economic impacts for basin communities and in particular, irrigation communities. This truth is reinforced in the study of the Socio-Economic Impacts of the Basin Plan, which finds a growing sense of hopelessness within communities across the Murray-Darling Basin. The final report, chaired by Robbie Sefton was also released by the Water Minister Keith Pitt today.


Whilst this commitment from the Commonwealth and Coalition governments has not been legislated, we encourage all basin states to work towards securing this change into the future.


Mr Massina said that he was pleased the Minister acknowledged that more time and flexibility was needed to deliver the Sustainable Diversional Limit Adjustment Mechanism (SDLAM) supply projects. These SDLAM projects provide the best opportunity to deliver improved environmental benefits whilst minimising the social and economic impact of the Basin Plan. It is essential to get local communities involved to get these projects right, without decimating our communities and industries along the way.


The RGA also welcomed the announcement to restructure the MDBA by splitting its functions.

“The review of the National Water Initiative and the ACCC Review of Water Markets will show that there is more to be done” said Mr Massina.


The RGA will continue to work towards outcomes that improve the interests of rice growers, the rice industry and their communities.



Media Contacts:     Robert Massina, RGA President – 0448 999 288
                               Belinda Lambert, RGA Communications Manager - 0488 071 165