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Vic & NSW Governments Clear on Murray-Darling Basin Position

Murray-Darling Basin communities are being put at the forefront of an ongoing dispute over water resources, following the recently announced review of the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) adjustment mechanism.

NSW Minister for Regional Water Niall Blair, and Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville, met on the Murray River on Friday to reinforce their joint position on the matter.

Mr Blair commented on the issue saying, “The NSW Government is committed to ensuring we get the balance right in meeting our environmental obligations under the plan, while not setting a path of further hardship for business owners and industries in the NSW Basin.

“The panel has already provided us with a number of options to improve the adjustment mechanism; including ensuring assumptions are real-world, and including further pertinent science within the model,” he said.

While NSW is focuses on a more informed decision, Victoria’s Minister Neville said it was important to “put politics aside” and focus on the communities and environment being affected.

“We don’t support the buy backs of water and this independent panel will allow us to get the same environmental outcomes while using the same or less water,” she said.

Ms Neville also commented on the importance of obtaining the “right balance between the agriculture industry and the environment”.

A recent independent study has highlighted the need to deliver the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in a way which will not put further pressure on farming communities through the implementation of wide-scale buy backs.

South Australia still remains firm in its position of requiring extra water in its section of the river.