National Farmers' Federation

1,000 reasons to give water buybacks the flick

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and its member bodies have put forward a range of alternative projects to deliver the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) plan, with the potential to restore 1000Gl or more without resorting to buybacks. 

Chair of the NFF Water Committee, said the Government needed to seriously consider these ideas as a priority.

“We’ve collaborated with representative groups up and down the Basin to compile an array of innovative proposals that would deliver the Murray-Darling Basin Plan without resorting to buybacks. 

“These projects include precision water management technologies, and innovative water storage solutions.

Mr Holm said the suite of options proved that the Plan could be delivered without resorting to buybacks.

“We can deliver every drop of the Basin Plan targets without taking the lazy option of buybacks.

“Today we’ve proven the point by putting 1,000Gl of potential projects on the table. 

“Until these have received serious assessment, it would be senseless to consider buybacks.

“We know what buybacks do to communities. We’ve seen it already and we don’t want to see it again. These Basin communities have been through enough.”

In a submission to Minister Plibersek lodged this week, the NFF has called for sustainable and practical initiatives that ensure minimal impact on agricultural productivity. 

“By embracing these innovative projects, the Government can strike a balance between effective water resource management and the needs of farmers and regional communities.

“The logical next step is to set up an inclusive and robust process to consult with landholders and communities about these project options.

“We’re demonstrating here that we’re willing to work with Government to deliver the Plan the smart way, rather than thumping communities with more buybacks,” Mr Holm concluded.

A copy of the NFF’s submission is available upon request.