Victorian farming communities hung out to dry as Basin legislation passes

Media Releases » Victorian farming communities hung out to dry as Basin legislation passes

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says farming communities have been betrayed as the Albanese Government secured changes to the Murray Darling Basin Plan in the Senate today.

VFF Water Council Chair Andrew Leahy said the Albanese Government had trampled over previous commitments it had made to water recovery.

“The Basin Plan as we know and understand has now changed forever without a care for the people who live and work within the Basin.”

“The Albanese Government don’t care that they are breaking promises made over ten years ago. Tony Burke in 2012 promised no water buybacks for the 450GL, but this is no longer the case”.

“Previously water recovery for the 450GL was only possible if a project passed the socio-economic test and had no negative impacts on communities. This test has been bypassed in the legislation and negative impacts on communities will now be allowed.”

“The Albanese Government is hell-bent on trying to turn our river system into a super pipeline to South Australia to win political points. There is no regard for the local environments that are getting damaged along the way”.   

“It’s complete madness. The government cannot deliver the 2,100GL it currently has for environmental watering. I live along the Murray River and high flows are damaging our local environment with bank erosion.”

“The Albanese Government has given no consideration to what happens in the next drought and the fact that over 40,000 acres of fruit trees will die as there is not enough water to go around.” 

“Over 2,100GL has been recovered to date for the Basin Plan, that is over four Sydney Harbours of water now available to the environment and no longer available for food production. They now want to target a further 750GL or one and half Sydney Harbours.”

“Make no mistake, less water will result in less food and it seems it will take until the next drought when we have food shortages for everyone to realize the damage this legislation has caused.”

“We need to hold the Commonwealth to account, they have not told the community what areas will be targeted for the 750GL or what environmental outcomes they want to achieve. The VFF will continue to fight for the best outcomes for Victorian communities and continues to support the Victorian Government in its opposition to these reforms.”