Ministers agree on water adjustment projects

The Victorian Farmers Federation welcomes the decision by the Murray-Darling Basin ministers to agree on the sustainable diversion limit (SDL) adjustment mechanism projects.

The creditable pathway to achieving the success of the SDL adjustment mechanism has been through projects such as environmental works and changes to the river operational rules, with the Basin ministers confident the full adjustment will be achieved.

The SDL adjustment mechanism allows for environmental outcomes to be delivered eliminating the need for further water recovery in the southern Basin.

“The VFF have been long standing advocates for the SDL adjustment mechanism and have remained confident the projects submitted can deliver value,” VFF Water Council Chair, Richard Anderson said.

“We are aiming for an outcome that supports sustainable growth for the rural communities along the river system – farming and rural towns, the environment and native flora and fauna, and the economy.

“The Basin ministers’ agreement is a really positive step forward, and one the VFF strongly endorse. The agreement should mean we can avoid further buy-back in implementing the Plan. The projects are good news for the environment and the adjustment is good news for our towns, businesses and communities.”

With deadlines looming, the agreement is an important step in implementing the plan. Basin governments will notify the package of projects to the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) by June 30 2017.

There will be public consultation later in 2017 before the MDBA provides progress advice to Basin ministers in November 2017.

Basin ministers also briefly discussed the independent socio-economic impact study into efficiency measures. The Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) announced EY will be conducting this work which is expected to report in late 2017.

“The VFF are looking forward working with EY in their assessment of the basin plan’s socio-economic impact.”

Source: VFF