Time for MDBA to listen to communities

Community members from across the northern Basin have joined with twelve farmer and irrigator groups to tell the Murray-Darling Basin Authority that it is beyond time to think #morethanflow when it comes to river health.

Public submissions on the proposed amendments to the Murray Darling Basin Plan have come to a close and now the Authority will take the time to consider these before providing their final recommendations to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Water Barnaby Joyce.

#morethanflow campaign spokesman and Cotton Australia General Manager Michael Murray says he trusts the Authority will take the time to listen to the voices of locals from those communities that have suffered as a result of past water recovery.

“Everyone in the #morethanflow campaign thanks those in the community who supported us. Many hundreds of community members turned out to attend the MDBA’s local meetings and more than 230 people logged their submission via the Australian Farmers’ online submission tool,” Mr Murray said.

“The message through the submissions of the campaign are loud and clear: it is time to end the economic pain on irrigation dependent communities and focus on ways to achieve river health without the need to recover more water from production.

“Realistic alternatives – like managing the release of cold water from dams that stop native fish from breeding, controlling carp, constructing fish passages or better managing wetlands and riparian zones can and will achieve environmental outcomes.

“We know they will work, we just need governments to prioritise and fund them.

“We ask the Authority to listen to these local voices. We ask it to revisit its draft recommendation which would mean a total of 320GL of water would be stripped from production. Losing about 450 jobs from small communities which are already at breaking point is just not acceptable.”