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Water Act changes welcomed by farmers

9 November 2016

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) Water Taskforce Chair, Les Gordon, has today congratulated the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, and his shadow counterpart the Hon Tony Burke MP on their spirit of bipartisanship with both the Coalition and the Labor Party supporting changes to the Water Act 2007.

The Commonwealth Parliament has this week agreed to amendments that will give governments more time to find water saving projects to implement the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“In April, NFF applauded the State and Commonwealth Ministers responsible for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan on their agreement to a suite of projects that will mean less water needs to be recovered from irrigation communities to deliver environmental outcomes,” Mr Gordon said.

“At that time, Ministers also requested that the Commonwealth seek to change the Water Act to give them an additional 12 months to further scope and examine more projects.

“In the coming weeks, Basin Ministers will again meet. Now that this change has been agreed by the Commonwealth Parliament, we urge the States to get on with the job of the detailed planning of the next tranche of projects.

“We cannot understate the critical importance of the success of these measures. Reaching agreement on more projects will mean that the Basin Plan can be fully implemented without the need for further buyback of water entitlements from irrigators.

“We urge the Commonwealth and State governments to continue the job of implementing the Basin Plan, but to avoid further negative impacts on the social and economic fabric of the Basin’s industries and communities.”

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