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Make the plan work for communities too

Make the plan work for communities too – is the plea from the CEO’s of the three largest Irrigation Corporations in Australia ahead of the Ministerial Council meeting in Canberra.

Murray, Murrumbidgee and Coleambally Irrigation, who together support over 5000 farming families, have united ahead of the Ministerial Council Meeting to urge Ministers to use the adjustment mechanism in the plan to deliver a real triple bottom line outcome.

“Our farmers have been living with uncertainty for too long,” said John Culleton CEO of Coleambally Irrigation.

“The adjustment mechanism allows Ministers to focus on delivering outcomes to communities as well as the environment. We all want a healthy environment but we also want healthy farms and healthy communities”.

Ministers will consider a range of supply measures at the June 16 2017 meeting that could enable environmental outcomes to be achieved with 650GL less water.

“It’s important that Ministers understand the importance of investing in measures to deliver environmental outcomes that don’t take more water from farmers” said Brett Jones CEO of Murrumbidgee Irrigation.

“Investing in supply measures is the same as investing directly in our communities, it keeps water in production, supporting our farmers to do what they do best – grow food and fibre.”

The Basin Plan set about with bi-partisan support to rebalance the Basin’s water resources. More than 2046GL has already been transferred from the productive pool to the environment and the impacts on communities across the Basin are starting to appear.

“There is no question that social impacts on communities are real and that they will continue to play out over long periods of time,” said Michael Renehan, CEO of Murray Irrigation.

“The Plan was passed into legislation with bi-partisan support, lets hope that our Water Ministers will use this same approach to agree a package of supply measures that will reduce the social impacts and make the Basin Plan work for communities too”.

Source: Murray, Murrumbidgee and Coleambally Irrigation

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