Murray-Darling Basin Plan faces make or break

Senate set to make or break Murray-Darling Basin Plan

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Queensland Farmers’ Federation president Stuart Armitage says the Greens are creating more uncertainty for farmers, irrigation reliant communities and the environment.

Queensland Farmers’ Federation president Stuart Armitage says the Greens are creating more uncertainty for farmers, irrigation reliant communities and the environment.

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Farmers are calling on the federal opposition to vote down the Greens’ disallowance motion on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

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QUEENSLAND farmers are calling on the federal opposition to vote down the Greens’ disallowance motion on a key part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan due for debate in the Senate today.

The Greens want to vote out the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) adjustment mechanism approved by the four basin state governments and the Commonwealth Government following an assessment by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority that would implement 605GL worth of projects by 2024 to achieve equivalent environmental outcomes using less water.

Queensland Farmers’ Federation president Stuart Armitage said the Greens’ actions once again left the Basin Plan hanging in the balance creating more uncertainty for farmers, irrigation reliant communities and the environment.

“In settling the Basin Plan, governments agreed that the recovery target could be amended in two ways: a review of Northern Basin SDLs and the SDL Adjustment Mechanism,” Mr Armitage said.

“Disappointingly, Labor Senators sided with the Greens back in February and voted to disallow the three year Northern Basin Review.”

The basin plan represents a workable way to achieve environmental outcomes while minimising the economic and social impacts on many Basin communities. - Stuart Armitage

“If the motion to disallow the SDL adjustment mechanism currently before the Senate is successful, it will not only wind back the achievements and undermine the sacrifices of the basin plan to date, but likely result in no plan at all.”

“The Basin Plan has already secured 77 per cent of the water it originally targeted for the environment, and the 36 proposed projects present no risk to the Plan’s environmental targets because in 2024 there is a full reconciliation.”

“By letting the basin plan fall apart now, which this motion if successful will surely do, politicians are showing contempt for the considerable sacrifices farmers and basin communities have already made.”

Mr Armitage said no one had got, nor would would they get, exactly what they wanted from the basin plan.

“But it represents a workable way to achieve environmental outcomes while minimising the economic and social impacts on many Basin communities,” Mr Armitage said.

“The federal opposition has the power to recognise the last six years of hard work by basin communities, the states and successive Federal Governments by returning to a bi-partisan approach and voting down this reckless, politically-driven motion.”

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