The Nationals Federal Conference has today endorsed a motion to bring forward the legislated review of the Murray Darling Basin Plan and return the focus of the plan to management and outcomes rather than water recovery.
In moving the motion, Shadow Water Minister, Perin Davey, said after more than a decade it was time to review the Basin Plan and the assumptions that were used in its development.
“When the Basin Plan was being designed there were assumptions made about flow rates and targets that we have now learned through experience cannot be feasibly done,” she said.
“The original models were based on having water delivered at levels well beyond what communities can or will tolerate yet these models have never been revised.
“We have recovered over 2,100GL of water for the environment which complements existing planned and held environmental water.
“We have more than 10 years’ experience delivering this water within existing operating rules and achieving great outcomes so let’s look at that and evaluate where we can make improvements to how we manage the water.
“Unfortunately, the current government is not concerned about how we manage the system and is only concerned about tearing more water away from food and fibre production.
“Before pursuing further water recovery, we should review the models and the assumptions to see if it’s still necessary.
“I believe it is time to develop a Murray Darling Water Management Plan and end the water recovery plan,” Senator Davey said.