Joint media release with Paul Weller, Member for Rodney
Member for Rodney, Paul Weller has claimed the proposed draft Murray Darling Basin Plan would not allow the region to recover on the back of its devastating 12 year drought.
Following a recent Age report that stated house prices in communities throughout the Murray Darling Basin have fallen by more than four per cent, Mr Weller said the Plan “locks in the effects of the drought”.
“We should be pushing for the Federal Government to invest in engineering solutions for the environment that deliver the same environmental outcomes with less water,” Mr Weller said.
Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie said the report into Murray Darling Basin house prices has revealed some dramatic local impacts that will be felt not only by farmers, but also the towns and industries that support them.
“Towns like Stanhope and Tongala need certainty in order to grow and prosper into the future – a certainty not provided by the draft Basin Plan, which fails to clearly explain how economic and social factors have been incorporated into its targets,” Senator McKenzie said.
“These are iconic food producing areas that have been built on the back of irrigated agriculture where water is wealth. Now they are vulnerable communities facing an uncertain future,” she said.
Echoing this sentiment, Mr Weller stated the draft Basin Plan will continue to choke the dairy industry in the Murray Darling Basin region.
“The reduced water availability is expected to see a continued decline in milk production for the towns in this region from the already drought impacted production of 1.8 billion litres,” Mr Weller said.
“These figures indicate that the proposed draft Basin Plan will prolong the effects of the drought unless major changes are made to the way we manage environmental flows,” he said.
“We should be working towards maintaining environmental outcomes, using less water,” Mr Weller said.