National Farmers' Federation

Draft Framework for Delivering the 450GL of Additional Environmental Water

It is completely inappropriate for the Department to be consulting primary producers, Basin communities, industry, and local Government on a significant policy matter of consequence with only five weeks for consideration.

All alternatives must be evaluated and exhausted before consideration of voluntary water purchase options with the least socio-economic impact can occur. Irrigation communities and surrounding areas impacted by earlier buyback programs in many cases have not fully recovered, particularly communities in Northern Victoria and the NSW Murray Valley. As stated by the Productivity Commission its recently released Final Report into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan: Implementation Review 2023, any return to buybacks in these areas is seen as a probable ‘tipping point for their long-term survival’. This paints a picture on the damaging consequences of voluntary water purchase programs. Such impacts must be minimised or avoided entirely.

Read the full submission here.