Over the course of 2015, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) increased its advocacy focus on the impacts of the Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP)
and the need for changes to the Plan and its implementation.
Significant achievements were made in 2015 with the Federal Government committing to legislation to cap water buybacks in the MDBP at 1500 gigalitres (GL).
Further, indications that more flexibility will be provided for environmental water trading were welcome. However, the ADIC still has concerns regarding
the MDBP’s unrealistic timelines as well as a lack of planned transition and structural adjustment.
2016 is a critical year in the Plan’s implementation. The deadline for the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) adjustment mechanism is imminent. Progress
with state offset projects leading up to this June 2016 review is also of significant concern.
Secure access to quality water is paramount to dairy’s future. Reduced access to the water resources the industry relies on will impact dairy’s profitability,
productivity and international reputation. To ensure that the dairy industry’s key priorities are effectively represented and addressed in this discussion,
the ADIC has re-formed its Water Taskforce.
The ADIC Water Taskforce, chaired by Victorian dairyfarmer Daryl Hoey, provides a cross-industry group to support the ADIC in driving for pro-dairy solutions
in current and future opportunities for review and change.
The priorities of the Taskforce for 2016 are to seek a review and delay the 450GL ‘upwater’ as part of a stock take to better understand the effects (both
positive and negative) of water recovery. Further, the Taskforce will also push for the delivery of the full 650 GL in environmental offsets to ensure
any shortfall does not have to be covered by farmers. Other targets include a more transparent water market and information as well as ongoing monitoring
and support for regional and state water programs including the Northern Basin and Menindee Lakes and Connections Reviews.
For further information about the ADIC’s Water Taskforce contact the ADF Office via (03) 8621 4200.