IRRIGATORS and environmentalists will dissect the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan at a meeting in Dubbo today before heading to Fletcher International Exports for some insight into “likely impacts of reduced water consumption”.
Organisations, businesses and agencies sending representatives to the meeting include the Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association, the Central West Catchment Management Authority, the Western Catchment Management Authority, Macquarie River Food and Fibre, Darling Farms, the Parks and Wildlife Group, the Dubbo Office of Environment and Heritage, the Australian Floodplain Association, Wellington Council and the Macquarie Marshes Environmental Association.
Dubbo MP and NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resources Troy Grant provided details of the meeting with stakeholders, part of a consultation tour that he’s embarked upon with Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson.
On Thursday they visited Finley and on Friday turned up for stakeholder talks in Leeton.
Today’s meeting in Dubbo will be followed by visits to Narrabri, Moree and Forbes.
Ms Hodgkinson has called the proposed basin plan a “Commonwealth plan developed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority under Commonwealth legislation”.
She said it would take 2750 gigalitres of surface water out of productive use to provide for unspecified environmental outcomes.
“This plan focuses solely on the volume of water that will be taken from agriculture production to the detriment of regional communities without considering the real environmental, economic and social impacts it will have for generations to come,“ the minister said.
Mr Grant said the tour would play an integral part in the preparation of the NSW government’s response to the draft plan.
“I look forward to a constructive outcome from the discussions that will be held in the coming days on this important matter for the future of water in this state,” he said.
Mr Grant said Water Commissioner David Harriss and members of his staff would be involved in the meetings, each lasting three hours and followed by a farm or industry tour.
“A tour of Fletcher International will take place in Dubbo. The farm or industry visits will provide a practical demonstration of the draft plan’s likely impacts of reduced water consumption,” he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.