The Queensland Farmers’ Federation has welcomed the Australian Senate’s bipartisan vote to deliver the Northern Basin Review (NBR), providing certainty for farmers, irrigation reliant communities and the environment.
QFF President Stuart Armitage said the vote last night to approve an amendment to the Water Act delivering the NBR meant northern Murray Darling Basin communities would retain an extra 70GL of water, while still delivering environmental outcomes.
“The NBR will provide much needed certainty for Queensland farmers and Basin communities, as these communities have already suffered damaging socio-economic impacts,” Mr Armitage said.
“For example, Dirranbandi has lost 27% of its irrigated area while in St George, jobs in agriculture have dropped by more than 15% and non-agriculture private sector jobs are down more than 20%.”
“The Senate vote means that 36GL less water will now be recovered from Queensland – a much needed and welcome reprieve.”
“The NBR and the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) Adjustment Mechanism are important science and evidence-based refinements to the Murray Darling Basin Plan, that were agreed by all Basin State Governments and the Federal Parliament in 2012.”
“The Murray Darling Basin Plan was a watershed moment for Australian water policy. It represents a workable way to achieve environmental outcomes while minimising the economic and social impacts on many Basin communities.”
“The return to a bi-partisan approach to the Basin Plan ends the recent ‘politics over people’ actions and recognises the work of Basin communities and successive State and Federal Governments to ensure a healthy river system for the future.”