Communities at risk: Dire outlook for horticulture in case of another drought, according to report

As much as $381 million of horticulture investment could be at risk in a year as dry as 2008-09. INSET: Lisa Neville.

As much as $381 million of horticulture investment could be at risk in a year as dry as 2008-09. INSET: Lisa Neville.

VICTORIA and NSW will join forces to defend regional communities and industries they say are at risk when basin state water ministers meet in Mildura on Friday.

A Victorian Government-commissioned analysis of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan’s impact on communities in the southern basin has found the horticulture industry could account for all available water in Victoria under a repeat of the 2008-09 drought years.

The report also found irrigators who sold entitlements have become more reliant on temporary water and that the dairy industry would be the first hit by rising allocation prices.

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