Darling 'veto': NSW water bosses aimed to save upstream pumping

The Darling River near Wilcannia. Picture: John Carnemolla/Shutterstock

The Darling River near Wilcannia. Picture: John Carnemolla/Shutterstock

SENIOR departmental staff in charge of water policy in NSW told irrigators they would “veto” a plan to restrict upstream pumping to protect environmental flows, the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission has heard.

Lower Darling farmers Alan Whyte and Rachel Strachan gave evidence to the inquiry in Adelaide yesterday, detailing their efforts to lobby for improved water security or be given compensation for the removal of their horticultural plantings.

Mr Whyte and Ms Strachan said they were no closer to finding out whether or how the federal and NSW governments would compensate them for the future loss of their high-security ­water licences, despite having first been approached four years ago about the planned removal of horticulture from the lower Darling.

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