Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has called on the Federal and Victorian Governments to make adjustments to the Murray Darling Basin Plan to ensure that there are no more water buybacks from farmers and to remove the requirement to provide the additional 450GL of up water currently legislated for in the Plan.
She also called on both federal and state governments to work with communities in the GMID to help transition the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID) to a future with less water.
It follows the release of the GMID Water Leadership Forum’s study into the socio economic impact of the Murray Darling Basin Plan last month, and the group’s Water Summit this morning.
“The study showed, without change to the Basin Plan, our viability as a prime irrigation District will be challenged, particularly during a drought,” Ms Sheed said.
“But even if we do have the change we would like to see with the Plan, we must concede, climate change is happening.
“The Water for Victoria Plan showed that we would have up to 20 per cent less runoff in streams by 2065, under a medium climate change projection, all while our population and therefore our water needs continue to grow,” she said.
“In our region the impact of the loss of water has been a gradual process, thereby masking the economic impacts, particularly through loss of jobs in the area.”
Ms Sheed has asked for governments to consider policies and programs which will ensure the region, and ultimately Victoria is better prepared for a drier future.
“We used to have major research centres based in the Shepparton District – they must be returned,” Ms Sheed said.
“The Tatura trellis is a great example of what can happen at a regionally-based research centre, but outside of that, our industries are doing great things, and exporting their products all over the world.
We call on both federal and state governments to work with our local communities throughout the GMID, to provide the resources to enable us to prepare for the future. Investment in innovation and change in our region will be a much better one than remedial action later on. It is important that we are able to prepare for our future, a future with less water,” Ms Sheed said.
Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│firstname.lastname@example.org