Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed, together with co-chair David McKenzie and other GMID Water Leadership members had the opportunity to meet with Sir Angus Houston when he visited the region this week.
“We were able to articulate the challenges for our region as we near the final years of the rollout of the Murray Darling Basin plan. Our advocacy was strong,” Ms Sheed said.
Mr McKenzie said that attendees were confused by the response to the presentations by Sir Angus.
“He pointed out that the MDBA does not have a seat at the table at the Ministerial Council, or indeed on the Basin Officers Committee. His view seemed to be that the authority was there simply to facilitate the plan,” Mr McKenzie said.
“We have always considered that the authority has the capacity to review, do further modelling and advise government on important issues associated with the rollout of the plan, including the many recommendations from the numerous reports that have been undertaken over recent years,” he continued.
“So many groups in our region have actively attended consultations and meetings over the years in good faith to provide their views and express their concerns on the basis that they would be heard and have some impact on the direction of the plan,” Ms Sheed said.
“As a community we are now left wondering how we can navigate a landscape of blame shifting that occurs between the federal government, the state governments and the MDBA who are the parties responsible for every aspect of the rollout of the Murray Darling Basin Plan,” Ms Sheed said.
“It appears no one has the appetite to address the fact that there are only three years left before 2024 and that the water recovery required by then will not be achieved. Now more than ever we need strong leadership that recognises the need for flexibility.
What will happen to our region when the buybacks start? We have promises of no more buybacks but the federal government lacks the grit to change the legislation to ensure this,” Ms Sheed said.
We remain very vulnerable”.
Leanne Raditsas 03 5831 6944│firstname.lastname@example.org