National Farmers' Federation

Election 2019: Farmers seek bipartisan support for independent assessment of the Plan

The National Farmers’ Federation is calling for bipartisan support of the recently announced assessment of social and economic conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
“This is a sensible extension to the existing bipartisan agreement negotiated by Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud and Shadow Water Minister Tony Burke,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
The assessment is one of the key recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s five-yearly assessment of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and is an important step to address critical concerns identified in the report.
“Once the assessment is complete, it will inform how water can be sensibly managed for all users across the Basin,” Ms Simson said.
The assessment rightly identifies issues of concern, including the third party effects of changes in water use and trade and trends in the water market, water sharing, water recovery through buybacks and the social and economic effects from the use of environmental water.
“As the Plan continues to evolve and progress, it is now more important than ever to ensure Basin communities will not be adversely affected, and that the Plan delivers for all.
Ms Simson said events in the past five months had shown how difficult water policy and water management was.
“It has real impacts on communities. This is why the NFF continues to pursue full implementation of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations.
“The Productivity Commission has provided measured and pragmatic recommendations following extensive consultation and a pathway forward for a better future.
“Bipartisan support is especially critical for the future of Basin communities who need the confidence to operate which come from having certainty from Government.
“The NFF is seeking a commitment from the Australian Labor Party to progressing this crucial assessment, whatever the May 18 outcome,” Ms Simson said.
Explore our Agriculture: Growing Australian election priorities at farmers.org.au.

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