Murray Darling Basin Authority hands down proposed amendments to Basin Plan 2012

FIERCE Northern Basin advocate Maranoa MP David Littleproud was in Dirranbandi on Friday as the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) handed down its much-anticipated proposed amendments to the Basin Plan 2012.

“The MDBA recommended to the Federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources that the Northern Basin’s target be reduced from 390GL to 320GL – this reduction is an acknowledgment of the profound recovery target impact on St George and Dirranbandi,” he said.

“I was in Dirranbandi today and the pain is still obvious.  I’m sure this reduction answers prayers – simply because it’s a reduction – and it’s the recommendation of an independent umpire.

“While it’s not the most ideal outcome, this recommendation goes towards protecting the family farms and those small businesses which support those smaller irrigators in the Lower Balonne from further buyback affects.

“The minister has 12 weeks to consider the recommendation before either tabling the amendment or returning it to the MDBA with suggested changes for consideration.

“I’ve lived in St George so I understand the value of water to this region and affected communities in my electorate want to get on with life and get back to business.

“Certainty surrounding this plan is what’s needed for us to move forward – that’s why this plan needs to be resolves as soon as possible.”

For more information on the proposed Basin Plan amendments, visit: www.mdba.gov.au/basin-plan-roll-out/basin-plan-amendments

FACT BOX:

The MDBA has recommended an amendment to the Murray–Darling Basin Plan to the Agriculture and Water Resources Assistant Minister Anne Ruston.

The proposed changes include:

  • A reduction to the water recovery target in the north of the Basin, from 390GL to 320GL;
  • Changes to the allowable level of take in three groundwater areas (Eastern Porous Rock, NSW; Western Porous Rock, NSW; Goulburn–Murray; Victoria); and;
  • Minor practical improvements to enable effective and consistent implementation of the Basin Plan.