National Farmers' Federation

Water allocations reignite confidence

Today’s announcements in New South Wales and Victoria affirm the expectations of southern basin irrigators that water allocations are heading in the right direction due to improved inflows, National Farmers’ Federation Tony Mahar said.

Mr Mahar said it was hoped that good snow cover and forecast weather events would continue to see allocations grow in the 2020-21 water season.

“In NSW in particular, the past two seasons of low or no general security allocation seem to be turning towards more allocations with low, yet significant, allocations in the NSW Murray and Murrumbidgee announced this morning.

“For Victorian irrigators the positive trend of allocations is forecast to continue given at least normal rainfall and commensurate inflow events.”

Mr Mahar said a number of NFF member bodies had been concerned at how the in flows have not translated into allocations.

“While there are still concerns there is a renewed confidence on the back of today’s announcements.”

“The NFF also notes a maturing dialog about unaccounted for water, seemingly now in the order of 375 GL, which if clarified, should further underpin confidence and future allocations.

Mr Mahar said resolving this water would be an important outcome and noted that Interim Basin Commissioner Mick Keelty had advised a Senate Committee he was ‘on the trail’.

“While this debate has been fluid understanding not only the amount but the contributing factors will be important, particularly if conservative reserve policies of various sectors are found to not all be necessary.

“The NFF looks forward to more positive allocation announcements going forward and anticipates that the change in trajectory is a trend not a blip,” Mr Mahar said.

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