“Water into Gold” The Year of the Farmer*

In the year of the farmer it is only fitting that our food security is guaranteed and our regional communities are given the opportunity to share in the responsibility of delivering water where it is most needed.

Water sharing across the Murray Darling Basin must deliver balanced outcomes for the environment and communities alike, and the triple bottom line principle must be upheld.

The likely socio-economic impacts of the proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan; the lack of detail of an environmental watering plan; the threat of less water for productive agriculture; food security; the need for better science resources; and the need to invest in infrastructure to secure water rather than buy water, were key issues for the Murray Darling Association in its response to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority's proposed Basin Plan in
April 2012.

The Association's National President, Ken Rogers of Dubbo, observed recently, "While the catchments, rivers, land and water issues vary greatly across the Basin, it is surprising how many of the issues about the proposed plan were common amongst Local Government councils."

The ability to adapt to these new paradigms will be a core point of discussion at the 68th Annual conference in Mildura from the 22–25 August 2012.

Ken Rogers concludes, "When former Prime Minister, John Howard, came up with the need for water reform, the Act which gave birth to the proposed plan was drafted and adopted in the middle of the worst drought on record.
"Perhaps the precautionary principle being applied to the environment should firstly be applied to the sustainability of Basin communities."

*Copy supplied by Murray Darling Association