Water Act amendments a step in the right direction

The passing of the Water Amendment Bill 2015 has been welcomed by the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC), acknowledging it as a positive stride toward improving the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

The Bill provides much needed trading flexibility for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH). This flexibility will deliver positive environmental outcomes while simultaneously providing the community, farmers and manufacturers with increased certainty on their access to water supplies.

The proposed amendments also deliver more flexible timelines for reviews of the Basin Plan and changes to the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL), which determine how much water can be extracted from the rivers for human consumption, including agriculture.

Chair of the ADIC Water Taskforce, Daryl Hoey said that while the amendments don’t solve all of the challenges facing dairy producers in the region, they provide the right platform to discuss further change.

“Passing the Water Amendment Bill provides the Murray Darling Basin community with important flexibility and the confidence that decision makers in Canberra are listening to their concerns,” Mr Hoey said.

“This sets the tone for future decisions on the Basin Plan – favouring quality of environmental outcomes over quantity of water, more flexibility in achieving outcomes and a Plan that doesn’t punish a vibrant and productive agricultural sector.”

The ADIC, in collaboration with state farming members and industry partners has strongly lobbied for these changes, and supports their implementation.

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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