Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says she is pleased the Ministerial Council has agreed there must be a full socio economic study completed on the Murray Darling Basin Plan, which includes a thorough investigation on the impact of the removal of a further 450GL from the southern Basin.
It follows extensive appeals from the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) Water Leadership Forum, particularly to Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville.
“I and fellow members of the GMID Water Leadership Forum were told by MDBA officers it would not be reviewing the impact of the delivery of the 450GL of upwater.
Since then, we have been calling on the Minister to take all steps necessary to ensure the MDBA look at this very important issue,” Ms Sheed said.
The Ministerial Council today agreed to an independent analysis of efficiency measures of the Basin Plan. Among its work, it will look at strategies that may be required to ensure a “neutral or improved” social and economic outcome.
It will report in December.
“I look forward to a full briefing from the Ministers office early next week, on the outcome of the Ministerial Council meeting.
I will be keen to get a full overview of what the Expert Panel recommended, and how that may ultimately impact on the way in which the Basin Plan is delivered in the long term,” Ms Sheed said.
The next Ministerial Council meeting will be held in June.
In the meantime, the Ministers will also present to the Council of Australian Governments.
“Our communities need certainty, and it’s essential this work is undertaken as a matter of urgency, and its results delivered at the earliest possible date.
“At the same time, we must have transparency. The outcomes of these meetings have such serious impacts on the day-to-day lives of so many in our communities, it’s vital we have open and thorough communication,” Ms Sheed said.
Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│firstname.lastname@example.org