Victoria Fights For Crucial Basin Plan Projects

The Victorian Government today met with the New South Wales Government in Sydney to discuss the best ways to secure the future of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville today expressed her disappointment with the Basin Plan disallowance motions in the Senate. These risk undermining the decision of the Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council and expert scientific assessment on the Northern Basin Proposal.
If the Senate decides to disallow the 605GL of Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) environmental projects, then the future of the Plan will be in serious jeopardy.
Victoria wants to put people over politics and remains focused on delivering the Plan with positive outcomes for communities, the environment and regional economies across the Basin.
Victoria wants to get on with the 605GL of offset projects – without them more water would not be able to be delivered to South Australia and the environment would not receive any benefits.
The 605GL worth of projects are also crucial to ensuring we don’t need any further water buybacks in Victoria.
Any further water buybacks would be a disaster to regional communities as it would reduce the water available to grow jobs and industry.
Victoria today discussed with New South Wales what alternative arrangements to the Plan might be available if the 605GL is disallowed in the Senate.
This includes the option of establishing a separate process with the Commonwealth to negotiate a tripartite agreement between Victoria and NSW to continue to deliver this critical part of the plan.
The 605 GL worth of project is also crucial in that it helps Basin States reach the 2,750GL target under the Plan.
Victoria supports considering off-farm measures that don’t negatively impact on communities to achieve the additional 450GL, above the 2,750GL target, under the Plan.
Minister Neville has written to the Senate to support the Murray Darling Basin Plan by not disallowing the 605GL worth of environmental projects.
If the 605GL is disallowed – the following is at risk:
• $320 million of investment in regional Victorian communities, jobs and local investment
• Nine environmental works projects to help to deliver environmental benefits
• Achieving the 2,750GL water recovery target
• Over 250GL of water buybacks without the 605GL of projects

Published on February 13, 2018