A renewed threat from the NSW government to withdraw from the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council following a meeting last Friday has local government and councils deeply concerned.
The Murray Darling Association, Australia’s peak body representing local government across the Basin, is urging all governments to stay the course and continue to work constructively with focus on getting critical supply projects and Water Resource Plans on track.
Cr John Campbell of Gunnedah Shire, chair of MDA Region 11 emphasised the need for effective community consultation with NSW communities and cooperation with other Basin governments to ensure an achievable pathway for supply projects the reliability of accredited Water Sharing Plans.
The MDA continues its call on all Basin governments to act with genuine commitment to assess and implement the recommendations of successive reports, including the Productivity Commission’s 5 Year Assessment on the Basin Plan 2018 which identified that the package of supply measures is highly ambitious, and that the failure of key projects would compromise environmental benefits and cost taxpayers millions.
Without a clear and agreed pathway to deliver quality supply projects that can help meet environmental goals, our communities are at enormous risk of production and job losses that will come if Government has to buyback water.
“Basin councils and communities need confidence and trust that their state governments are working together to implement these complex water reforms,” National President Cr David Thurley OAM said.
“The Murray Darling Basin is a highly integrated system of rivers and wetlands, governments and communities, business and enterprises. In these times of economic uncertainty, it is essential that Basin governments work together to provide confidence and certainty.”
The MDA and Basin councils look forward to the release of the Ministerial Council’s communique over the coming days.
ENDS For more information, contact Murray Darling Association Chief Executive Officer, Emma Bradbury on 0429 905 017