Basin plan meeting ‘needed urgently’

TO the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and its new local representative and Barnaby Joyce, can you organise a community meeting either in Gol Gol or Mildura­ regarding the planned changes­­­ to the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) plan with the new local representative in attendance?

This is urgent as submissions are due soon and we need to be informed. 

Considering government always asks for submissions to these important things just before Christmas and holidays to try to prevent us from proper consultations at a local level, it is imperative we are informed and have an opportunity to ask questions about why a lowering of water retrieved for the environment is acceptable.

I have grave concerns about the politically-motivated intention by Mr Joyce and the MDBA to put economic and social impacts above environmental impacts, especially as the MDB plan and Water Act 2007 has as its main focus to return the over-allocation of waters from the MDB back to the basin. 

Irrigators and politicians seem to forget the system is still over-allocated­­­ and the environment has a right to a balancing of extractions.

These have always been grossly tilted towards economic benefits to the disregard of the unacceptable impacts on the MDB environment.

Is this the reason why they got rid of the National Water Commission, so there would be no oversight? 

The MDBA appears to be tarnished with a political appointment process as well. 

The environment needs the original 3900GL and by lowering the water retrieved to 2750GL, it is surely obvious to those who read the plan and the Act that this lowering of water target is evidence social and economic impacts have been taken into account.

Mr Joyce has had it in for the MDB environmental water holding since he came to Gol Gol during the MDBA’s consultation in the draft plan.

We all heard him clearly and unequivocally state that “water will be taken off irrigators” which was, and still is, a complete misrepresentation of the MDB plan.

We need to be able to hear why the change in water recovery targets and how et cetera, we must be kept informed and we must have a say and make informed submissions.

I request a couple of community meetings with the MDBA and representatives in attendance as well as Mr Joyce at a local level.

We are at the junction of two major rivers in the MDB and this gives us rights to be rigorously and fairly informed and consulted.

Maria Riedl,

Mildura

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