Cotton Australia has called for ongoing bipartisan support for the implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
The call follows the announcement by Assistant Minister for Agriculture & Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, of a six-point Implementation Agenda in order to complete the delivery of the Basin Plan.
The Implementation Agenda’s six key points are to strengthen compliance; finalise remaining water recovery; deliver on the Northern Basin Review; deliver the Sustainable Diversion Limit adjustment; finalise state water resource plans; and enhance monitoring & communication.
“The Implementation Agenda aligns with the stance of most irrigator groups, and we understand the Government’s decision to place compliance at the top of the list,” says Cotton Australia General Manager, Michael Murray.
“The cotton industry has always taken the view that the public can rightly expect water management compliance to be robust, and has stressed the importance of metering and measurement as a means to accomplish this.”
“While recent inquiries have shown that water compliance activity is not at a level that irrigators and the public can have confidence in, Ken Matthews made it clear in his Report that the overwhelming majority of irrigators in NSW take compliance seriously. And yet, all irrigators in recent months have undergone a ‘trial by media’ on the subject of water use compliance, which is not only unfair but has also irresponsibly cast a shadow over the Basin Plan.”
“The Government’s Implementation Agenda deserves a fair hearing from all sides of politics, and by the media. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan has a strong history of bipartisan support, and we trust that both the Coalition and Labor will continue that tradition.”
Source: Cotton Australia