Plan is a risk
- John Pettigrew and Terry Court, Goulburn Valley Environment Group
Basin plan at risk?
The recent northern basin amendment disallowance motion passed by Senate has little or no impact on the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District.
Senate support for this disallowance motion stemmed from the review process, outdated data and modelling used, assumptions of compliance by NSW and the protection of environmental flows.
These issues together with accusations of criminal and corruptive practices under investigation in NSW and Queensland gave senators no alternative.
Of direct impact to the GMID is the sustainable diversion limit (SDL) adjustment recommendation of 605Gl recently tabled in Parliament and at risk of also coming under the scrutiny of the Senate if a disallowance motion is moved.
Unlike the northern basin amendment, the SDL adjustment recommendation will pass or fail not on the quality of inputs or the recommendation, but be judged on the commitment of all states to the total SDL package agreed in the basin plan.
The SDL adjustment agreement consists of three elements and unfortunately NSW and Victorian ministers and highly public groups have been advocating for removal of the 450Gl up water and constraints management from the agreed package.
The greatest threat to the acceptance of the SDL adjustment recommendation in Parliament and perhaps the basin plan is the highly public campaign being waged to undermine intent of the SDL package, which was agreed to by all states.