Ovens Valley irrigators win more time to have a say

Thursday 21 February 2019

Ovens Valley irrigators will have an extra two weeks to provide feedback on a draft plan to manage Northern Victoria’s water resources, despite the Andrews Government’s attempts to rush consultation.

The Nationals supported irrigators’ calls for proper consultation on the 1000-page draft Water Resource Plan, a vital plank of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, securing an extension until March 18.

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said the extension was needed, after Labor botched the consultation process.

“The Water Resource Plan sets out how Victoria plans to meet its obligations under the Murray Darling Basin Plan,” Mr McCurdy said.

“It’s critical our local irrigators and communities can have a genuine say on this Plan so we can have confidence in how the Basin Plan will be implemented.

“Irrigators had clear concerns with the Andrews Government’s attempt to rush consultation. Now we’ve successfully secured more time for people to get across the Water Resource Plan I urge everyone to have their say.”

The Water Resource Plan is a roadmap for the state’s implementation of the Basin Plan.

It sets out how much water can be taken from farms, towns and industry, what water is available to the environment and how that water can be used, the rules for ground water change and strategies to manage risks.

Shadow Minister for Water Steph Ryan supported the community campaign to secure an extension.

“Irrigators and communities, who have already faced massive change and whose livelihood depends on getting the balance right under the Basin Plan, will now have a proper opportunity to have their say,” Ms Ryan said.

The deadline for community consultation on the draft Water Resource Plan has been extended from March 4 to March 18.

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