26 September 2023

Watered down allocations won’t float with Govt

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The Government has announced it will not support any changes to water sharing arrangements between States that would negatively impact Victoria.

The Minister for Water, Lisa Neville said Victoria had a conservative allocation policy that, despite dry conditions, resulted in some allocations being made available to entitlement holders this season.

Ms Neville said the Victorian Government supported the establishment of the Office of the Inspector General and powers associated with it to ensure compliance in the Basin.

“However, the Government will not support the Inspector General having powers to change water sharing rules affecting Victoria that pre-date the Basin Plan,” Ms Neville said.

“I support ensuring the best use of all available water but I won’t stand by and let water sharing rules be changed to the detriment of Victorian communities,” she said.

“While we agree the Basin Plan needs to be adaptive – these water sharing rules pre-date the Plan and are the basis for states making the best decisions possible for allocations to their farmers.”

Ms Neville said the priorities of the Inspector General should be focussed on floodplain harvesting, allocation, metering, monitoring of large-scale individual water use and licensing arrangements in the Northern Basin.

“Victorian irrigators and communities have already done the heavy lifting to meet our obligations under the Plan – and there will be no further buy backs in Victoria.”

“Further water recovery towards the extra 450 gigalitres in the Plan will only be supported if there are positive socio-economic impacts,” Ms Neville said.

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