Water

MDBA chief says states need to do heavy lifting

by
August 02, 2017

Phillip Glyde on Thursday declared there was no ‘‘plan B’’, meaning governments needed to remain committed to the existing Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The chief of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority says it’s up to the states to do their share of the ‘‘heavy lifting’’ when it comes to water compliance amid allegations of water theft and meter tampering in NSW.

Phillip Glyde on Thursday declared there was no ‘‘plan B’’, meaning governments needed to remain committed to the existing Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

‘‘We’ve got this historic agreement where all of the different governments have come together and it’s withstood changes of government,’’ the MDBA chief executive told ABC radio.

‘‘It’s a very rare thing to see this bipartisan report.’’

Mr Glyde described the accusations of non-compliance aired on television, as ‘‘really serious’’.

‘‘They’re completely corrosive and undermine the Murray-Darling Basin Plan,’’ he said.

‘‘What we’ve got is a problem in relation to compliance and that problem is a reason for fixing the compliance, it’s not a reason for throwing out the basin plan. The basin plan is working.’’

The Murray Darling Association is again calling for local government to be given a voice in the implementation of the basin plan to support its continuing implementation and avoid a repeat of the problems revealed in a recent Four Corners report.

In the wake of the television report, the MDA, which represents more than 100 member councils right across the basin, has made a renewed push for local government to be afforded a long-overdue formal role in informing decisions on the implementation of the basin plan.

MDA chairman Cr David Thurley said the best way to ensure local knowledge informed the decisions that affected local communities was to give the association a seat on the Basin Officials Committee.

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