NSW Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair secured a win for NSW at the recent Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council meeting in Canberra, endorsing a package of water and environmental projects that eliminates the need for any further purchases of productive water to deliver the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Mr Blair said the agreement was an important step forward for NSW farming families and businesses and follows significant concern around how the MDBP could be delivered.
“In negotiating the Basin Plan I have always pushed for pragmatic decision making that delivers certainty for regional NSW people and the businesses they run,” Mr Blair said.
“The agreed package delivers the full 650 gigalitre water recovery offset and this is good for the Basin as well as NSW food and fibre producers.”
“This agreement is certainly a positive step, but the work does not end here. Our focus now is on continuing to engage with communities to ensure projects can be designed and delivered and without impacting the security of people’s water entitlements or their property rights.
“While we do this the Murray Darling Basin Authority will complete its assessment of endorsed projects and I look forward to seeing the results on 15 December 2017.”
Mr Blair reiterated his support for the independent review of efficiency measures to be carried out by Ernst and Young.
“The Basin Plan speaks about adaptive management, but until recently I believe this wasn’t being fully embraced. The Terms of Reference agreed for this independent review lives up to that objective,” Mr Blair said.
“The feedback I receive from our farming families, regional businesses and industry groups is critical to these negotiations. I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with our regional communities and ensuring that NSW’s case continues to be fairly heard as the Basin Plan progresses.”
A list of SDL Adjustment Mechanism projects will be published on the MDBA website by 30 June 2017.
Source: NSW Government