Local representatives have reaffirmed their support for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan Amendment, passed through parliament in November 2017.
The amendment reduces the water recovery target from 390GL to 320GL in the Northern Murray Darling Basin. However, it is now subject to a disallowance motion by Senator Sarah Hansen-Young. The motion will be put to the Senate for resolution in the next fortnight.
Member councils and communities of the Basin have called on Senators to support the amendment and provide certainty for their already struggling towns and industries.
The amendment was recommended after consultation with the impacted communities, consideration of environmental impacts and, it was a decision based on science.
Cr Darriea Turley from Broken Hill City Council says, "our members from all states recognise the importance of local government working together to ensure the fair and equitable implementation of the Basin Plan."
Region 12 representative, Balonne Shire Council CEO Matt Magin, said Northern Basin communities already hard-hit by buybacks couldn’t afford to give up more water.
“We support the Basin Plan and we want to see it implemented, but we can’t carry this burden on our own,” he said.
“If the disallowance motion succeeds and the recovery target is increased to 390 gigalitres, it will mean further uncertainty for all Northern Basin communities. Dirranbandi would be finished and St George would be decimated.”
MDA CEO Emma Bradbury said the unanimous support for the Region 12 motion demonstrated the strength of the local governments’ support for it’s members.
"Our members recognise that every region has different priorities and challenges under the Basin Plan and we don't shy away from that," she said. "Our role is to ensure local government is able to stand together in pursuit of the best outcomes for our regions – whatever that may be."