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Politics must fix Plan

Murray Irrigation today called on politicians to do what the MDBA has failed to – develop a realistic, deliverable and balanced Basin Plan.

Murray Irrigation General Manager Anthony Couroupis said the ‘revised’ Basin Plan released by the MDBA today had not fundamentally changed and was just an edited version of the draft that was released last year.

“Despite 20 weeks of consultation, copious meetings throughout the Basin, assurances that our concerns were being heard, and over 12,000 submissions, the MDBA has changed nothing of substance in the Basin Plan,” Mr Couroupis said.

“As far as Murray Irrigation is concerned, any changes in this document are superficial,” he said.

In its submission to the MDBA, Murray Irrigation included recommendations which, if accepted, would have allowed the MDBA to achieve environmental outcomes with less water by focussing on environmental works and measures and infrastructure.

“Our position was supported by that of both the NSW and Victorian Governments who called for works and measures to be prioritised above water purchase and entitlement recovery,” Mr Couroupis said.

“Our community holds the same position and we know local councils, community groups and many individuals made submissions calling for balance and common sense to prevail.

“Unfortunately it appears that all of our submissions, the hard work that went into developing them, the research and investigation, the local knowledge and the experience of the State agencies who manage Basin water resources, have been ignored.

“We have all been let down by this consultation process that has failed to consider practical advice.” Mr Couroupis said

Murray Irrigation will now focus on working with the State and Federal Governments to try to have practical amendments made to the Basin Plan that gives due recognition to works and measures and maintaining regional production.

“Responsibility for delivering a practical Basin Plan now rests with our political leaders”, Mr Couroupis concluded.