Flexibility for water trading important first step says ADIC

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) welcomed the Coalition’s response to the independent review of the Water Act 2007 yesterday.

ADIC Chair, Simone Jolliffe said that the industry welcomed the adoption of recommendations including to provide greater trading flexibility for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH).

“The ADIC has long sought this flexibility for the CEWH in optimising environmental outcomes in ways that ensure dairy producers have better access to water supplies,” Mrs Jolliffe said.

“Dairy has proved a flexible and responsible user of water. We have adapted our practices to be more water-efficient. However, reduced access to water resources is already putting pressure on dairy’s productivity and profitability. This flexibility is key to helping our industry remain viable. It will also ensure a balanced approach to achieving environmental outcomes in the Murray Darling Basin.”

Mrs Jolliffe described this as a positive first step for the industry but highlighted that the ADIC was eager to see greater improvements made in the implementation of the Act and the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“That the Government didn’t agree with the submissions of many to amend the Act to unambiguously state a triple-bottom-line objective or to strengthen the current implementation of the legislation is of concern. Such an approach is critical,” Mrs Jolliffe said.

“We were pleased to see the Government amend timelines to some evaluations and reviews under the Act. The ADIC believes these revisions need to be applied to all elements of the Act. In particular, there is a need for a robust evaluation of environmental, economic and social impacts before considering an additional 450 gigalitres (GL) of water being taken from agriculture.”

The ADIC also acknowledged the Government’s commitment to continue to work towards achieving a total 650GL supply offset. The ADIC is committed to working with Government to improve the management of water in the Basin, achieve the necessary community buy-in, and achieve socio- economic outcomes while meeting environmental targets.

Media Contact:

Shona McPherson, Media Officer

M: 0447 161 919

E: media@australiandairyfarmers.com.au

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