Commonwealth–SA water deal a lifeline for drought-stricken dairy communities

AUSTRALIA’s dairy industry has welcomed a new deal struck by the federal and South Australian governments to turn on the state’s desalination plant, with 100 gigalitres to be reallocated upstream for drought-ravaged farmers in the Murray Darling Basin.

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) in April called on the federal Government to use Australia’s six functional desalination plants in a move that would “deliver a permanent water supply for farmers, regional communities and environment”.

“It is fantastic to see the Government listening to the needs of dairy farmers who are suffering from the impacts of drought and offering real solutions to the problems we face in securing water,” ADIC Chair Terry Richardson said.

“We hope that the Government can further help drought-affected communities by working with the Victorian Government to connect the desalination plant in Gippsland, so that more water can be allocated for agricultural use.”

The ADIC also praised the Government for investing in other mechanisms to increase water supply for farmers, including a National Water Grid which will

The dairy industry body previously asked the Government to enlist the CSIRO to devise a “transformational water supply blueprint for Australian agriculture”.

The Government has also unveiled drought preparedness measures and committed to implementing recommendations made by the Productivity Commission in its five-year review of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Mr Richardson said the ADIC would monitor the Government’s progress in addressing the Productivity Commission’s recommendations and looked forward to further government investment that would help boost water supply for regional communities.

Media Contact:

Ashley Mackinnon, Public Affairs Manager

M: 0407 766 153

E: media@australiandairyfarmers.com.au

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