Victoria Minister for Water Peter Walsh
MDBA Must Start Listening To Basin States
Victor P Taffa
Water Minister Peter Walsh has today reinforced the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to fighting for a Murray Darling Basin Plan that ensures a future for our northern Victorian communities.
Mr. Walsh gave the keynote address at the Murray Darling Authority’s 68th Annual Conference in Mildura this morning.
“I cannot emphasise too strongly that the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) needs to be listening to the Basin State Ministers. The livelihood and future of Victoria’s irrigation communities, and all basin communities, depend on it.”
“The MDBA’s lack of a suitable response to some sections of this year’s July 9 consensus communiqué is incredibly frustrating and disappointing.” Mr. Walsh said.
“This was a document submitted by the Commonwealth, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australian and Victorian Water Ministers, yet in some sections of the latest plan the MDBA has given it scant consideration.”
“The Victorian Coalition Government remains concerned that the current version of the Basin Plan does not address critical issues including sustainable diversion limit (SDL) adjustment mechanisms, salinity and water quality issues, groundwater, and fair state apportionment for the downstream contributions.”
“The current plan does not balance the needs of the environment, food producers and the communities that rely on them.” Mr. Walsh said.
“During the past three weeks, Victoria has been working hard with the other basin states with the objective of putting a joint position to the Federal Minister Tony Burke, on Monday that follows on from the July 9 statement.”
“These are difficult negotiations but they are critically important and the Victorian Coalition Government is working hard to ensure there is a secure future for our northern Victorian Communities.” Mr. Walsh said.