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'Hot Air' trashes property rights

7 November 2008

THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) today hit out at prevailing comments by some politicians, environmentalists, and others in the community that compare the Federal Government’s purchase of water to the purchase of “air”, “hot air” or “air space”.

“Such comments show a lack of understanding for entitlements and water management across the Basin and NFF seeks to correct this misnomer, said Mr Laurie Arthur, Chairman NFF Water Taskforce.

“The water yield of entitlements is one of the characteristics that describe the property right. At present, this yield is extremely low because of drought – the worst on record – and most types of water entitlements will deliver little or no water this year.

“The Commonwealth is purchasing different water entitlements that will deliver a significant amount of water in the future when water is available, and this will be used by the environment to deliver a range of benefits, Mr Arthur said.

“In that regard, the Government is buying entitlements which are owned by farmers. To say that the Government is just buying “air” is trashing all water property rights, Mr Arthur concluded.

Media Enquiries: NFF on (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250

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