A NEW campaign to highlight the extensive damage the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has on the Macquarie Valley in Central West NSW has been launched today.
So far, 83 gigalitres (GL) of water have been recovered from the Macquarie Valley, above and beyond the legislated target of 65GL, and dramatically higher than the 20GL originally proposed in 2010.
Macquarie River Food and Fibre chairman, Michael Egan, said the Plan had been flawed from the beginning, having a detrimental impact on local businesses and towns.
“The water taken from production has slowed economic growth and seen job losses of up to 12 per cent in some towns across the region, from farm staff, to local shops and businesses,” Mr Egan said.
“We recognise the importance of protecting the health of our rivers, but the Plan must be fair and reasonable and seek to ensure positive environmental, social and economic outcomes.”
Mr Egan said water recovery must stop now and non-flow options invested in so as to improve the health of the Murray-Darling.
“With the current Northern Basin Review, there’s a real opportunity to reset the direction of water recovery, to ensure a true triple bottom line approach that balances the health of the environment with the social and economic wellbeing of the Macquarie Valley,” he said.
“We’re encouraging the local community to get behind the campaign, and build the case for change. This is not just about irrigators, but everyone from local shop owners to teachers and students who are seeing school numbers dwindle.”
Source: Macquarie River Food and Fibre