Irrigators to question Joyce on basin plan

Senator Barnaby Joyce
Senator Barnaby Joyce

MACQUARIE Valley irrigators are being offered the chance to quiz Senator Barnaby Joyce on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, set to be tabled in the federal parliament before the end of 2012.

The federal opposition spokesman for regional development, local government and water has accepted an invitation to be the guest speak at the annual meeting this month of Macquarie River Food and Fibre (MRFF).

MRFF executive officer Susan Madden said its members "should find plenty to talk about with this year's guest speaker".

"Our members will be particularly interested in hearing Senator Joyce's views on the latest developments in the drafting of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan," she said.

Ms Madden said Senator Joyce had led the campaign highlighting the opposition's concerns over the government's handling of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

She said Senator Joyce's visit was "particularly timely", given Water Minister Tony Burke's insistence that the plan would be tabled in the parliament before the end of the year.

"Coming from an irrigation community himself, Senator Joyce is only too aware of the valuable social and economic contribution the industry makes, and the very real threat that the plan poses to the industry's ongoing viability," Ms Madden said.

Senator Joyce's visit to the Macquarie Valley will include a meeting with Narromine and Warren shire councils to review findings from their recent water dependency study.

He will also examine the project works being undertaken as part of the modernisation of the Trangie-Nevertire Irrigation Scheme.

Both projects were funded through the federal government's Water for the Future initiative.

MRFF has issued an open invitation to interested community members to attend the annual meeting from 6pm on September 24 at the United Services Memorial Club in Narromine.

Those wishing to attend should register their attendance by calling 6884 9577 or sending an email to


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